KPK preparing for local body elections

Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has decided to hold local body polls in the month of April next year without biometric system. The KPK government has withdrawn from its demand for holding Local Bodies (LB) polls under biometric system. Provincial Minister for Local Bodies Inayatullah revealed that said the provincial government has written letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and expressed its consent for holding LB elections in April next year without biometric system. He said the provincial government had made all the arrangements for the polls. It has completed plan for local government system and delimitation process, adding that there was no obstacle from the government for polls. Before this, the PTI-let provincial government had been demanding LB polls under biometric system. Last month, the minister had said that PTI want the elections under biometric system and for that they are ready to transfer funds to the Election Commission. It is a great sign that provincial governments are finalizing the preparations for holding the local body elections, although courts had to compel to the provincial governments to do the same which is a must according to the constitution of the country.

It is ironic that Supreme Court of the country is pushing for the local body elections but it seems politicians are not in the mood to do so. Just to make sure that the provincial governments of Sindh and Punjab hold local government elections in time, the Supreme Court (SC) has given another reminder to both the provinces to take it on a serious note. It seems that politicians are not willing to hold local body election in the country, the issue of local government elections has been delayed for years with the pretext of one to another lame excuses.

This trend has to be changed that for every positive act, someone has to push us with force to do it. We are, as a nation not learning the lesson to fulfill our responsibilities. We are setting wrong trends; it is the time politicians must show some seriousness for the devolution of power by organizing the local body elections, which would provide the rights to the common people to redress their grievances on their own. A mayor has stakes to serve his people locally, because the he would understand the problems of people in a better way and would try level best to solve them to get votes to return to office. The court has sternly asked the ECP to complete its job in 45 days. Punjab government would take one more week to pass the Punjab Local government Amendment bill but taking advantage Sindh government has passed the Sindh Local Government Amendment Bill 2014. In the case of Punjab and Sindh, completion of the legislative process is the first step to organise local body elections. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is planning to organise local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in three phases. The elections will be held in last week of March 2015. Election Commission would start the process of preparing voter lists next month. After which, the election schedule for KPK would be announced in January next year. Around 120 million ballot papers and one million nomination papers will be printed. It would be great that electronic electoral system would be used in the election in KPK.

Although, Election Commission of Pakistan has requested the court to give it five months to conduct local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but court eliminated the request and ordered to ECP and also to the provincial government to submit their progress report within a month. It is mandatory for the provincial governments to conduct local government election, article 140 directs it. Punitive actions can be taken against the provincial governments if they would be found using the delaying tactics for not fulfilling the constitutional requirement. Considering the inefficiency of the politicians, it seems that laws are made to be violated. Matter of local body elections is not an exception. If there could have been genuine democratic tends implemented, the Supreme Court would not have had to intervene to force the provinces to conduct local bodies polls. It seems that taste of power is more delicious than respect for the rule of law or the constitution; the courts were left with no option but to intervene and force our prevaricating rulers to do the necessary acts they were supposed to do. It is amazing that on the one hand, politicians keep defending the democracy in the country for the progress of the nation but on the other side they are not willing to give the rights to the people at the grass root level by dissolving the right of power, which is the soul of true democracy. Supreme Court has been intervening time and again but politicians seem not willing to fulfill their responsibilities to the people whose votes have sent them to parliament.


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