Balochistan local government: Elections for peasants, labourers in doldrums

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 1:19:47 by



QUETTA: 

The Balochistan Election Commission has been unable to announce the schedule for elections in the category of peasants and labourers because “the notification issued by the provincial government is incomplete and does not state the category and number of seats for each district council, committee and metropolitan”. The seats have been vacant for the past 11 months. 

Balochistan Election Commissioner Sultan Bayzeed told The Express Tribune that they received directions from the chief minister to hold elections for the remaining categories in the local government. “However, the notification we received does not state which categories or the number of seats we need to hold elections for,” he said.

The election commission’s job is limited to holding the elections while the government is responsible for everything else, Bayzeed said. The 743 seats reserved for peasants and labourers have been lying vacant for the past 11 months, he said.

The election commission offered to help the government hold the elections. However it was supposed to issue clear notifications that state the number of seats at the district, union council, district council, municipal committee and metropolitan levels. “I contacted the relevant officials several times but did not receive an answer,” he said.

He said the process was complicated. The government of Balochistan introduced an amendment to laws pertaining to the local government and created a new category for social workers and professionals. This new category replaced the previous category of labourers and peasants in district committees and councils. The new law proposed voting for the chairman and vice chairman by show of hands, unlike in the previous law, which relied on secret ballot.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2014.



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