ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved the judgment on election of Sindh union councils’ mayor and deputy mayor.

The judgment will be announced today.

The Sindh government through the third amendment in the SLGA 2013 had changed the election of mayor, deputy, chairman and vice-chairman of the councils through show of hands. Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional later challenged that amendment in the Sindh High Court, which declared the election through show of hand void.

Pakistan People’s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement agreed to hold elections of women, youth and peasants on reserved seats for the Sindh union councils on the basis of party lists.

The MQM and PML-F, however, stick to their position of holding indirect election in the local government of mayor, deputy mayor, chairman and vice-chairman of union councils of Sindh through secret ballots. In a statement, submitted before the court on Thursday, they demanded that no bureaucratic transfers should be made by the government except upon permission from the ECP, after the announcement of the elections.

All the elections for the local governments are part and parcel of each other, as one leads to another. The statement said: “It is settled law that election starts from the first step and includes all subsequent steps till the culmination.” Hence the law which was applicable on the first date of the announcement of elections on 25-08-15 will be applicable right till the end when the elections of mayor, deputy mayor, chairman and vice of the union councils.

Earlier, Farooq H Naek, representing PPP, argued that the MQM and PML-F has no objection on the increase of seats of women from 22 to 33 percent, youth and labourers seats, adding the only issue is whether the mayor, deputy mayor, chairman and vice-chairman elections be held through show of hands or secret ballots.

The chief justice said the only issue before them is whether any amendment in the law could be made after the announcement of the elections schedule.

Naek contended that the Local Governments elections in Sindh were held in three phases, and their schedules were announced by Election Commission of Pakistan separately. He said but no schedule was announced for the fourth phase, which was for the election on reserved seats and of mayor and deputy mayor.

He said that the show of hands introduced for the elections of mayor and deputy to discourage horse-trading, as was done in the election of Senate members.

The chief justice remarked that if the general elections are held in phases then after the end of 1st phase the law would be change for election of a person who would be elected Prime Minister.