LG anomaly: Metropolitan corporation strength increased

Government issues another notification


Danish Hussain December 23, 2015
Government issues another notification. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The federal government, after admitting a clerical mistake, issued notification for the formation of the metropolitan corporation afresh, making it in accordance with the relevant provisions of the local government act.

The notification issued on December 22 provides that the house will comprise 77 members instead of 66, as was ‘mistakenly’ notified on October 27.

The number of reserved seats for women has been increased from nine to 17, peasants/workers seats from two to three, youth seats from two to three and non-Muslim seats also from two to three. While one seat for technocrat remains unchanged.

As many as 50 elected chairmen of union councils will form an electoral college to elect 27 members on reserved seats.

Sub-section (2) of Section 12 of the ICT Local Government Act 2015 says, the number of women should not be less than 33 per cent of the electoral college, peasants/workers non-Muslim and youth not less than five per cent five per cent each and technocrat not less than two per cent.

A senior official of the interior ministry, who declined to be named, said previous notification was based on ‘wrong calculations’ and that it was a ‘human error’.

The anomaly was highlighted in media that the government had silently changed formation of the metropolitan corporation by introducing amendments to the local government act through a presidential ordinance.

Syed Zafar Ali Shah, a former senator of the ruling party, who was apparently not aware of the mistake, said a few days ago that women seats had been reduced in the light of an amendment.

“Presidential ordinance is just limited to the number of deputy mayor seats, which are increased from one to three,” the official said.

He said by introducing an amendment to section 17 of the act, the words “mayor and deputy mayor” have been replaced with “mayor and three deputy mayors”. “That is the sole amendment introduced in the Islamabad Local Government Act,” he added.

First phase of the local bodies elections were concluded on Tuesday, after the 650 elected representatives from 50 union councils took oath of office.

In the second phase, 50 chairmen will directly elect rest of the 27 members of the metropolitan corporation on reserved seats. While in the third phase a mayor and three deputy mayors will be elected.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2015.

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