List of increase in Sindh minorities seats
As a supplement to our e-mail input titled, ``
Religious minorities and local bodies elections "
sent out on July 26th 2005 , we would like to share
the specific districts where the religious
minorities seats have increased. These are 12
districts mostly in Sindh and are :
> There are 13 seats for each Union Council. These
include 6 general (including two women), four for
workers and peasants and one for the religious
minorities besides the Nazim and Naib Nazim.
> Separate electoral rolls for religious minorities
and Muslims are being used just as they were used
during the 2000-1 local bodies' elections. Political
observers would recall that the general elections of
2002 were conducted using joint electoral rolls.
However, the religious parties opposed this as
according to them "Non Muslims would also manage to
get registered in the Muslim rolls" Thus, the ECP
decided to separate the rolls. However, as a result
of this a total of 8.3 million voters are at risk of
being disenfranchised. Individu-land research shows
that the separate rolls had a total of 63.68 million
voters while the joint electoral rolls used in 2002
general elections had a total of 72 million voters.
In a frantic attempt to address this problem
candidates and voters are frantically getting
themselves registered in the separate rolls.
> The religious minorities can contest for the UC
seat through separate electoral rolls and they have
one seat as pointed out earlier. However, what is
not widely known is that religious minorities can
also contest for the seat of Nazim and Naib Nazim
through joint electorate. In other words, the seat
of the UC is through separate electorate and the
seat of the Nazim and Naib Nazim is through joint
electorate which is a bit confusing for most
including the religious minorities themselves and
the political observers.
It is important that this fact is publicized by
local civil society groups, media and also by the
Election Commission itself. The ECP took out half
page advertisements in the leading newspapers in
Urdu publicizing the code of conduct. Individu-land
would like to request the ECP to publicize this fact
too. Ideally through the newspapers but at least
through it's website www.ecp.gov.pk. Nowhere on it's
website is this fact clear. The only time the word
minorities is mentioned is in the schedule under
Indirect Elections which states:
All districts./city districts of the Province of
Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan:
Category of Elections:(i) a Zila Nazim for a
district /city district (ii)a Tehisl/Taluka Nazim
for each Tehsil/Taluka or Town as the case may be
and (iii) members of the Zila Council or Town
Council against the seats reserved for women,
peasants and minority communities. "
Therefore it is imperative that this be publicized
and the confusion cleared. The few religious
minorities that do know about this clause are
contesting, Tharprakar being a case in point where
almost 25% are contesting for the seats of the Naib
> A positive step that the ECP has taken and which
should be appreciated is that on July 25th 2005
through a notification the ECP directed that if in
any UC area, religious minorities form more than 10%
of the population, the Muslim seats will be
curtailed and the religious minorities seats would
be increased. The copy of the notification is
available with indivdiu-land if anyone wants a copy.
It is hoped that the issues raised by individu-land
regarding the confusion of religious minorities'
participation in the elections will be taken notice