Pakistan News

Parties empower district units for LB elections

Parties empower district  units for LB elections

PESHAWAR: Most political parties have empowered their district organisations to form electoral alliances and do seat adjustments at local level to secure the maximum possible seats in the May 30 local body elections.

Seven government and opposition parties have formed two separate alliances amid reservation of workers.

ANP, JUI-F and PPP claim to have formed a very effective alliance.

Many former nazims and councilors are believed to contest the elections independently to avoid controversies as all parties claim to have received hundreds of applications from every union council.

The workers of the ruling coalition have high hopes of success, so they seem to be more active in running the campaign than the opposition.

However, on the other side, the ruling parties including PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan have announced they will maintain the alliance for local government elections, too.

Two of the main opposition parties including Qaumi Watan Party and PML-N are not part of any electoral alliance at the provincial level.

However, they have authorised their local units in all districts to do seat adjustments with likeminded parties and groups for the upcoming elections.

Besides, seven other political parties including PML-Q, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Wahdatul Muslimeen, ANP-Wali, Workers Awami Party, Pakistan Awami Tehreek and Mazdoor Kisan Party are also likely to announce election alliance shortly.

Almost all parties have launched election campaigns but some of them seem to be very active. Leaders of the main alliances are frequently holding meetings to finalise seat adjustment formulas.

In Peshawar district, the opposition alliance on Saturday signed a seat adjustment agreement.

“Under the agreement, ANP will field 70 candidates, PPP 63 and JUI-F 51 for local government elections in the provincial metropolis,” Abdul Jalil Jan of JUI said.

PML-N leader Engineer Amir Muqam, who is also the adviser to the prime minister, said his party had made no electoral alliance at the provincial level and was doing everything on its own.

“The people saw the two main alliances break,” he said.

Muqam said the alliances formed for the local body elections were quite unnatural and therefore, the relevant leaders failed to maintain unity when the time came for the announcement of candidates.

“We have authorised our people in different union councils, tehsils and districts to decide about candidates and seat adjustments on their own as they consider suitable,” he said.

PML-N provincial general secretary Rehmat Salam Khattak said the party’s office-bearers in all districts had been directed to send names of election candidates by April 13 for approval.

“We have developed relationship with JUI-S and ANP–Wali in some parts of the southern districts. We will be able to get at least 45 percent of the local body seats in the May 30 elections as many former nazims support us,” he said.

Qaumi Watan Party provincial chief Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao said his party’s doors were open for all parties and therefore, discussion on seat adjustment with PML-N in Swabi, with Jamaat-i-Islami in Charsadda and with Workers Awami Party in parts of Malakand division was underway.

He said his party had serious reservations about the launch of development schemes by the provincial government ahead of elections.

Sikandar said none of the electoral alliances were effective as the families’ politics usually played an effective role in local government elections and therefore, his party had asked its local organisations to take decisions about candidates on their own.

He also objected to the appointment of deputy commissioners as returning officers and doubted the ruling parties could get edge over other parties in elections by such moves.

The QWP leader alleged that the ruling parties used the government’s machinery to mould public opinion in their favour.

ANP-Wali general secretary Farid Toofan said the alliances of different parties were meant to mobilise and reactivate their disgruntled workers otherwise they would be unable to get majority in elections.

“We are ready to form alliance with any of the parities except ANP as we do not accept Asfandyar Wali as Pakhtun leader,” he said.

PML-Q provincial president Intikhab Chamkani said efforts were underway to form an effective electoral alliance with PMAP, AWP, Wahdatul Muslimeen, PAT, Mazdoor Kisan Tehreek, ANP-Wali and Awami Workers Party.

He said his party made alliance with PML-N in some union councils of Peshawar and with PTI in Haripur for local body elections.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2015

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