LG elections in cantonments todayArchive
ISLAMABAD: Local government elections in 42 of the 43 cantonments across the country will be held on Saturday. The election in Balochistan’s Ormara cantonment will take place after the resolution of a dispute over demarcation of land between the district administration and the cantonment.
According to data released by the Election Commission of Pakistan, 1,151 candidates are in the run – 541 affiliated with political parties and 610 independents.
Read: Without Cantonment Act amendment, local govt polls to be on non-party basis
Eighteen parties have fielded their candidates, but only nine of them have fielded more than five candidates. Only three parties have fielded their candidates in all the four provinces.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has fielded 137 candidates — 93 in Punjab, 22 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 18 in Sindh and four in Balochistan. The PML-N has 128 candidates – 99 in Punjab, 13 in KP, 12 in Sindh and four in Balochistan.
The PPP has fielded 89 candidates — 58 in Punjab, 22 in Sindh, eight in KP and one in Balochistan. The number of candidates fielded by Jamaat-i-Islami is 74 — 41 in Punjab, 28 in Sindh and seven in KP.
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Twenty-seven candidates are contesting on Pakistan Awami Tehreek tickets — 23 in Punjab, three in Sindh and one in KP. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has fielded 27 candidates, all in Sindh. The Awami National Party is contesting on 13 seats in KP and Awami Muslim League seven seats in Punjab.
The 42 cantonments have been divided into 199 wards and 1,225 polling stations set up, of them 310 declared as sensitive and 130 highly sensitive. Of the 924 polling stations in Punjab, 193 have been declared sensitive and 102 highly sensitive.
Out of the 164 polling stations in Sindh, 59 have been classified as sensitive and 15 highly sensitive. Fifty-eight of the 112 polling stations in KP have been declared sensitive and three highly sensitive. In Balochistan, the total number of polling stations is 25 and 10 of them have been classified as highly sensitive.
Also read: SC issues final schedule of local bodies elections
In Dec 2013, a bill had been introduced in the National Assembly to make representation of the elected members in cantonment areas more meaningful, but it could not be adopted and was finally withdrawn on March 6 this year – the day when a diluted version was made to become law through promulgation of an ordinance.
The ordinance empowered the ECP to hold elections in cantonments, but did not change the composition of the boards where military authorities dominate the elected civilian members.
The elections will now take place under a slightly amended version of the Cantonment Ordinance 2002, introduced by former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf.
According to the 2002 ordinance, the station commander of a cantonment (usually a brigadier) serves as president of the area. He enjoys unlimited powers and can even reject any decision of the board, which has an equal number of elected representatives and members nominated from among serving army officers.
Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2015
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