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Government involvement in local elecs: some questions

 

It has been brought to the attention of individu-land by certain quarters that coercive tactics are being practiced on the eve of the local bodies elections in different parts of the country. Individu-land has already shared with its readers the coercion practiced by the tribals in different districts of Balochistan in the name of seat adjustment. The case is no different in Sindh with the Honorable Chief Minister himself on record saying that ``At least 80 candidates nominated by me have been elected unopposed as Nazims and Naib Nazims of eight union councils in Kashmore,Nazim and Naib Nazims of five Union Councils in Ghothki and councilors in other districts of Sindh.He further went on to claim that his seat adjustment formula have borne fruit because of his popularity. Individu--land begs to differ.

The Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians have reported that candidates have been whisked away by the administration in Kamber,Larakana and Shadakot namely Mr.Nazir Hussain Gapang ,candidate for General Councilor, Union Council 2, Kamber City, Sikander Ali Gopang,Candidate for General Councilor, Union Council 2, Kamber City and Mohammad Chandio, Ex Nazim UC Mirpur, Tehsil Warrah. These gentlemen were later released after using coercive means with them. Individu-land being non partisan investigated these reports filed by PPPP through its field contacts and found them to be true.

In addition to this, individu-land field contacts have also revealed that the provincial administration is also heavily rounding up prospective candidates in Tharparkar and offering them money at best and threatening them with private and state jails at worst. In the District of Badin this coercion is also going on and has been widely reported in the local Sindhi press. It is unfortunate that these stories do not make it to the main stream media so that civil society groups can take the issue up. Individu-land would like to request its readers through this mail that these reports should be taken note of.

On the subject of local bodies and the involvement of government officials, it is tragic that a person none other than the President of the country is violating the code of conduct issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan. July 30th 2005 saw the President speaking at a public gathering organized by the Pakistan Muslim League at Swat. Addressing the rally he said ,``Do not vote for extremists in the upcoming local bodies elections and instead support the Pakistan Muslim League Clause 16 of the code of conduct issued by the ECP on July 13th states, `` The Local Government Elections will be held on a non party basis. Can it be that the President of the Country is not aware of this fact when he was urging the people to support the Pakistan Muslim League candidates? Based on this statement, does this also indicate then that the Pakistan Muslim League has candidates for local bodies elections, in clear violation of the ECP code of conduct ?

Before the country goes to polls, perhaps these questions should be answered.

 

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individualland.com (Last Updated Wednesday, 26 October 2016)

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