WEB DESK: The federal capital is all set for the first ever local bodies’ elections today (Monday), as elaborate arrangements have been by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure peaceful elections for 650 seats of 50 union councils.
There are total 2,396 candidates are in the run in capital, while ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are poised for a neck and neck competition.
There are 255 candidates are contesting elections for chairmen and vice-chairmen slots, while 1,210 are running for the general councilor seats and 351 candidates are contesting elections on women seats.
For Kissans and workers’ seats, 248 candidates, and 230 are contesting seats for youth. Some 102 are bracing for bouts, the seats meant for non-Muslims.
After the PML-N with 506 candidates, PTI has fielded 479 candidates, Jamaat-e-Islami 164, Tehreek Tahafuz Pakistan 66, JUI-Fazal 13 and Aam Adami Party 08 candidates are going to participate in the elections.
As many as 26 political parties are in the run for representation in the local government system. Each union council will consist of 13 members – a chairman and a vice-chairman, six general seats, two for women and one each for Kissan, youth and non-Muslim.
Despite tall claims of ending status quo politics, PTI has given ticket to Seemee Ezdi, the sister of PTI secretary general Jehangir Khan Tareen, for the seat of vice-chairman of the council from sector F-10.
The PTI has also not ignored the son of a woman MNA, who made her way to the lower house of parliament on a reserved seat. He too has been given a ticket for the slot of vice-chairman.
PTI MNA from Islamabad Asad Umar told reporters that the party is going to win at 25 seats, which will enable it easy for it to election its district mayor, as the 50 union councils will elect a district mayor.
The interior ministry in a notification issued here said that all government departments and the ministries located in Islamabad, will be closed on by 2pm, in order to make the local employees to cast their votes in the respective union councils.
Meanwhile, the legal team of PTI has approached the ECP seeking extension in the timings of the polling, saying if the polling is stopped, it is feared that many voters may not be able to cast their votes as they are voting for the first time.
However, the ECP is yet to decide whether it is going to extend the timing for polling or not. An official of the commission said that the Chief Election Commissioner will decide on Monday (today) according after taking stock of the situation and the voters’ turn out at the polling stations. Following is the list of union councils and wards for LG elections in ICT administration, for the elections to be held today (Monday).
By Zulfiqar Ahmad
Source: Business Recorder