LAHORE - A good number of prospective candidates for the local government elections staged a demonstration here in the City to lodge protest against the government for using delaying tactics regarding conduct of the local elections.

Gathered under the aegis of civil society organisations including Pattan Tarraqiati Tanzeem and Women Concern Network, the candidates, mainly belonging to the PTI and the PPP, were of the view that ruling parties in the four provinces were not interested in elections because they did not want the transfer of development funds at the local level.

The aspirants including Mian Iqbal, Naheed Adeel and Amina Malik said that if elections for provincial and national assemblies could be held on present voter lists, why the local elections could not be held on the basis of older delimitations. They stressed that election of local bodies was essential for transfer of power at the gross roots level so that people could resolve their issue in collaboration with the local councils.  Civil society representatives, Sara Ismat, Shamim Akhtar and Rukhsana Liaqat in their speeches doubted Punjab government’s intension to hold the elections. They alleged that government was using the issues of new delimitations and printing of ballot papers only as an excuse to postpone the polls. “Any further delay in the conduct of local polls would be a violation of the constitution and the apex court decision”, they warned.