All is set for the first ever local government elections in Islamabad and today residents of the federal capital would use their right to vote. According to Election Commission of Pakistan polling will begin at 7:00 a.m. and would continue till 5:30 p.m. without any interval. There are over six hundred and seventy six thousand registered voters. Over two thousand and four hundred candidates are vying for the seats of chairman, vice chairman and councilors. At least 255 candidates will be contesting for the chairmen while 1,210 candidates will be battling for the general seat. Besides this 351 female candidates will compete for the women seats while 248 candidates will be aiming for the labour seat. On the other hand, 230 candidates will be aiming for the seats reserved for youths while 102 candidates are in fray for the minority’s seats.
Meanwhile, elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure security during the elections. Six hundred twenty five Army troops and seven hundred personnel of Rangers besides police will be deployed in the capital for the purpose. One thousand FC personnel would also help maintain law and order. It is a pleasing effort of ECP to set up control room for the Local Government Elections in Islamabad where people can register their complaints regarding irregularities in the polling process.
It is a fact that local government elections are considered soul of democratic norms of any society. Indeed such elections are the nurseries of democracy. The powers currently enjoyed by the bureaucracy in the capital territory will devolve to the two tier local government system. The real contest is between PML-N and PTI backed candidates but PPP and JI are also in the run in addition to a large number of small political parties and independents.
Local government elections would provide chance for local leaders to perform administrative functions at the grassroots level.