LAHORE: Ruling allies, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ) Thursday reached an agreement that the new local governments (LGs) set-up in Punjab will have 11 metropolitan corporations, local media reported.
According to sources privy to the talks between the two sides, a metropolitan corporation will comprise nine divisional headquarters. Gujrat and Sialkot have also been added as the new metropolitan corporations, they said adding that the other 25 districts of the province would have district councils.
The metropolitan corporation will be led by the lord mayor while district councils will be headed by the district mayor. “There will be neighbourhood and village councils at the lowest tier of the local governments system,” they said the lowest tier would not have tehsil councils, municipal councils, municipal committees and town committees.
Earlier, it was reported that a deadlock persisted between the Punjab government, led by the PTI, and its coalition partner in the province, PMLQ, over the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the LGs elections.
The disagreement was confirmed to a private TV channel by PMLQ’s Tariq Bashir Cheema, who is also a federal minister, and SACM on Information Hasaan Khawar.
“We are not ready to accept a local governments system, planned by the Punjab government, and Prime Minister Imran Khan should intervene to get the matter sorted out,” he said while rejecting that the EVMs could be used for holding LG polls in the province. He said that it was an attempt to delay the LG elections in the province.
Responding to him, the Punjab government’s spokesman Hasaan Khawar said that PMLQ was their coalition partner and their suggestions were being considered. “There is a need for debate on PMLQ’s suggestions and the process is currently under way,” he added.