A clearer picture: K-P Cabinet tweaks LG Act to allow for runoff elections

Says nazims, naib nazims should be elected after gaining majority votes


Our Correspondent August 12, 2015
Chief Minister K-P Pervez Khattak presiding over the cabinet meeting. PHOTO: INP

PESHAWAR:


As the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act 2015 continues to be tweaked, the provincial cabinet has proposed further amendments to clarify the legislation.


The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting at the Civil Secretariat on Wednesday. The nazim and naib nazims would now be elected on the basis of majority votes by all the members of their respective councils rather than those present at the council meeting during the time of the vote.

Speaking to journalists, Minister for Information Mushtaq Ghani said if an individual vying for the nazim or naib nazim slots fails to secure the majority vote from all the council members, a runoff election would be held between the leading two candidates. The runoffs could be held as many as three times to find a candidate with the majority vote.

The runoff process would be conducted in three weeks, but if candidates failed to secure a majority—whether on the district or tehsil level—that particular council would stand dissolved.

Devolution of power

Furthermore, the nazim district council will now be called the nazim district government and the minister for local government, who is a member of the K-P Finance Commission, will also co-chair the body.

“We want devolution of power in the real sense,” said the minister. “We want the city district council to become the City District Government.”

Accountability

The cabinet also recommended amendments to the K-P Ehtesab Commission Act 2014. As a result, lower courts will not have the power to grant bail to a convict. Under these amendments, the punishment of a convict cannot be decreased.

At the same time, the EC’s director general can turn any place into a police station or sub-jail. It was also decided that the commission would decide cases within three months and not adjourn proceedings for more than a week. The cabinet also recommended the regularisation of 290 employees of Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation (GAVI) through a bill in the K-P Assembly.

Licensing authority

Meanwhile, another decision was taken to give the authority to issue commercial driving licences to the transport and mass transit department, while the police would only issue noncommercial licences up till October 30, 2016. The transport department, in the meantime, would enhance its capabilities and from November 1, 2016, all driving licences will be issued by it.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2015.

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