PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s cabinet meeting held here on Wednesday approved the defection clause in section 78 of Local Government Act 2013.

Provincial Minister for Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani briefing the media regarding the amendment in LG Act 2013 said that if a member of tehsil, town or district council becomes dissident to his/her political party, resigns from party membership cast vote or abstains from casting vote in violation of party decision would become defection then his/her membership of tehsil, town or district would also become annulled.

He said that the party chairman would first inform the election commissioner, naib nazim or presiding officer about the party status of member of local government through a notice. After receiving the notice, the naib nazim or presiding officer would inform the chief election commissioner about the person concerned within two days, and the election commission would give his decision regarding the membership of the person within 30 days, he added.

Mushtaq said that after the endorsement of election commission the member of local government would not remain a member of the LG set up anymore and his/her seat would become vacant with immediate effect.

The aggrieved person however can file an appeal in High Court regarding the decision of election commission within 30 days of the decision and the higher court would give its decree within 60 days of the appeal, he told.

The provincial minister said that the section 78-A has been added in LG Act 2013 in this regard and the cabinet approved the same. He maintained that since the election of local government representatives was done on political basis under section 74 (7) of LG Act 2013 so it was deemed necessary to add section 78 “A” in the act in this regard.

He informed that under Article 63-A2 of the constitution of Pakistan, the membership of members of national and provincial assemblies also becomes void if the member is declared to have defected.