The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has decided to contest the union council elections on a non-party basis and award party tickets only to candidates for the seats of mayors and deputy mayors, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The PML-N’s parliamentary board took the decision at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his capacity as the party’s president and chairman of the board.
The board met to decide if the PML-N would contest the election on a party basis, non-party basis or would award tickets for selective tiers of the local government system, participants of the meeting said.
According to a schedule notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the local government election would be held in Punjab on January 30.
Sources privy to the meeting said the prime minister was briefed by the party’s senior leadership. They suggested leaving all UC seats open for the interested party candidates and if they win the party would award them tickets for the upper tier of the local government.
The meeting observed that according to the Punjab Local Government Act 2013, UC consists of 13 members, including its chairman and vice chairman, who will be elected directly. Later all chairmen of UCs will indirectly elect various heads of upper tier government like mayors, deputy mayors of metropolitan corporation and municipal corporations and chairmen and vice chairmen of district council and municipal committees.
The party has suggested the leadership award party tickets only to mayors, deputy mayors, chairmen and vice chairmen of rural and urban local governments. Sources said that Nawaz has finally given approval to the party to go in the LG election at UC level without party symbol and to award party ticket at upper level. He also asked the board to seek final input from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif as well who is currently visiting India.
The party has also decided to award ticket to Malik Uzair Muhammad Khan, son of party’s disqualified MNA Sumaira Malik, by by-election in NA-69 (Khushab). According to the ECP schedule the by-election would be held on January 23, 2014 – the seat had fallen vacant following the disqualification of PML-N’s Sumaira Malik over fake degree.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2013.
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