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CBF voters go to the polls to elect 10 councillors

CBF voters go to the polls to elect 10 councillors

KARACHI: More than 149,000 voters in the Cantonment Board Faisal (CBF) will go to the polls on Saturday (today) to elect 10 councillors who will represent them on the military dominated board.

Local government election is being held in all cantonment areas across the country in pursuance of a Supreme Court decision.

There are a total of 149,346 registered voters — 80,990 men and 68,356 women — in the CBF area. After election of the 10 councillors, the Commander of the PAF Base Faisal who is the president of the CBF will nominate an equal number of members to the board.

Each councillor, whether elected or nominated, has one vote while the president has two which he could use in case of a tie among members on any decision to be taken by the board.

CBF’s chief executive officer Asif Amir will act as secretary to the board. Like almost all cantonments, the number of voters in its different wards is not equal.

As the number of voters is over 149,000 in 10 wards, each ward should have around 14,000 voters but it is not the case. Some wards have even less than half the number of voters in other wards.

The election commission’s voter population data of CBF shows that in ward-III the number of voters is 10,088 while in ward-IV there are 22,459 voters which means that a candidate in ward-IV will have to approach double the number of voters other hopefuls will have to meet in ward-III.

Despite stark differences in size of electorate, once elected, all councillors will have one vote each in the board meetings.

Talking to Dawn, a number of candidates said that the uneven number of voters in each ward was in violation of the principle of adult franchise, which was one of the requirements in the Canton­ment (Amendment) ordinance 2015 issued by Presi­dent Mamnoon Hussain on March 5.

The ordinance clearly stated that the “population in the wards within a cantonment shall as far as possible be uniform”, they said.

The voter data also reveals that number of voters in ward-I is 13,690; in ward-II (14,258 voters); ward-III (10,088); ward-IV (22,459); ward-V (21,219); ward-VI (12,514); ward-VII (14,655); ward-VIII (19,040); ward-IX (13,359) and ward-X (13,095).

Even the number of voters assigned to polling stations is not equal and in certain cases one polling station has more than double the number of voters than another despite the fact that the number of polling booths is the same, according to data.

The data of ward-III shows that 980 voters will cast vote at a polling station at the Kids University in Gulshan-i-Jamal while 2,897 will cast their votes at the Smart School, C 18, Block B, Gulshan-i-Jamal though the number of polling booths is four (two each for males and females) at both the polling stations.

Out of the six cantonment boards in the metropolis, the CBF board which is in category-I has the largest number of voters living within its jurisdiction.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2015

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