ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, the federal cabinet will appoint an administrator to manage the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation’s (MCI) affairs, which will complete its five-year tenure on Feb 15.
The cabinet, due to meet on Tuesday (tomorrow), will approve the nomination of the MCI administrator and its 50 union councils.
The MCI failed to perform during its five-year tenure, as neither the PML-N nor the PTI governments showed any interest in basically owning the MCI established in 2016 after the first local government elections in Islamabad in Nov 2015.
The PML-N belongs to the mayor and three deputy mayors chosen by the MCI voters.
On the other hand, before tendering his resignation in October last year, Sheikh Anser Aziz, the first ever elected mayor, continued to enjoy rewards and privileges for over four years. The seat was held by the PML-N as the party’s Pir Adil Gillani was recently elected to the seat.
However, in addition to difficulties created by the bureaucracy, the people of Islamabad were not able to get any relief from the local government system due to the non-serious approach of the government and the MCI representatives.
Interestingly, in their last session, the MCI members belonging to both the PML-N and the PTI obtained a resolution accepted for their own honorarium worth millions of rupees. Sources said they were now seeking to get their full honorarium five years before the expiry of the local government’s term.
The MCI officials claimed that their business and financial rules were inadequate during their term, which is why the MCI did not invest funds raised by the Municipal Administration Directorate (DMA).
Deputy Mayor Syed Zeeshan Naqvi said the MCI was unable to deliver because of the inadequate Local Government Act 2015.
“We were busy splitting assets and manpower between MCI, CDA and the capital administration during the five-year term,” he said, adding that the government should amend the Act before the new elections to better describe the local government’s position.
In the meantime, an official of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has stated that the administrator will be appointed by the federal government for a term of four months and, in the meantime, the ECP will carry out a fresh delimitation of the Union Councils.
He said that in four months, the ECP will hold new elections. MCI sources said that there were less chances of new local government polls anytime soon, adding that the government was not able to hold the LG elections in Islamabad last time, but the government had to hold the elections because of the Supreme Court order.
“The government has struggled to hold local government elections in the provinces, after making numerous announcements. So I don’t believe they’re going to hold elections anytime soon in Islamabad,’ said a member of the MCI.