Sneaky Punjab government has silently changed rules of the game for Local Body Elections through an


President (40k+ posts)
Political parties in Pakistan never shy away from playing with the system for their own benefits. This apparently seems to be the case in Punjab, where the government has changed the rules for the upcoming local government elections.

Through a recently promulgated ordinance, the provincial government has changed the law passed by its own assembly, creating enough room for the ruling party to manoeuvre the final outcome of the polls scheduled for September.

Enacted on the pretext of simplifying procedures and reducing expenditures, the ordinance has changed the nomenclature of elections to union councils. The long overdue elections will now be held in two phases: first direct elections where voters will elect members on general seats; and second where the elected councillors will elect members on all other seats i.e. youth, workers, minorities and females.

In the initial local government law passed two years back, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had wanted to hold the polls on a non-party basis. The move was, however, challenged in the court, which ordered the province to hold party-based polls.

Easier to manage?

The Punjab government modified the act accordingly. But once the issue was considered settled, changes were made in the law silently through an ordinance, apparently creating room for manoeuvring results.

It is always easier to manage polls on fewer seats than going for direct elections on all the seats, an official of the top electoral body reasoned when asked for the intent behind the latest changes.

Read: Local government: Do not put off polls on floods pretext, says PPP

According to the Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 promulgated earlier this week, a union council shall have a directly elected chairman and a vice-chairman as joint candidates, and six councillors on general seats one each from a ward. These members can contest polls either on party tickets or as independent candidates.

This means the electorates will only vote for the panel of a chairman and one general councillor from their respective ward. Once elected, the general members will elect two female members, one worker, a youth and a non-Muslim member for their wards.

Election commission officials said the process would be easier and significantly reduce the cost of polls as fewer ballot papers would be printed. The ECP would print only two papers one for the chairman and the deputy chairman seat; and the other for the seat of general councillor.

This means the political parties would only need to focus on getting one member elected in a ward. The voters, however, will have no say in the election of the rest of the councillors, officials added.

In the local government polls held in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in May, except for the seats reserved for women, members in all other categories were elected through direct polling. Each voter had seven ballot papers to vote for candidates.

Pakistans political history shows that ruling parties either shy away from holding local government elections or if they have to, they prefer non-party based polls. The members elected then usually join the ruling group for funds and other reasons.

More delays?

The Punjab and Sindh governments, along with the ECP, are set to move a petition seeking further delay in local government polls on account of monsoon rains and floods. Under the Supreme Court orders, the polling due since 2009 has to be held on September 20.

The provinces have told the polling authority that owing to floods, the governments will not be able to spare officials for election duties. The petition is likely to be submitted next week.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2015.


Minister (2k+ posts)
lol PML N can never play fair they can't tell truth and they can never win with out cheating ... accept that and learn to fight with them knowing that

Citizen X

President (40k+ posts)
Apni hukumat, apni assembly, apna sadar, apna PM, apna CM. Jo dil ata hai karein gay, koun roknay wala hai inko. Awaam to satoo p ke sou gai hai, aur jin ka zameer abhi b zinda hai unho ne sara malba IK pe dala wa hai ke bhai who akela aadmi in sub se lard le ga. Hum sirf vote aur jalsay pe aayien gay.

Koi ghayoor qoum hoti to aab tak Gaddafi wala haal ho chuka hota in ganj biradiran, Zaardaaku aur Karachi Target Killers a.k.a MQM ka.

Fcuk staying within the system and fighting them, when all odds are against you, you have to resort to other methods.

IK saw what happens when you try to stay within the system and fight in Pakistan.
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Minister (2k+ posts)
Did Election Commision really said that will save their expenses due to less ballot papers? That's the worst possible reason you can ever had listened.
By the way, PMLN try to play fair this time as all eyes and ears are open.
By the way, can ordinance be challenged in court???