Political parties are in the process of awarding tickets to their nominated candidates for the first ever local body elections in Islamabad, scheduled on November 30.
Wazir Muhammad Yunus, a 31-year-old who has been awarded a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ticket to contest elections for chairman union council 30, sees the elections as “an opportunity to work for the social welfare of the society and prompt resolution of local problems”.
Union council (UC) 30 comprises densely-populated areas of sub-sectors G-7/3 and G-7/4. With 28,903 registered voters, the UC is the largest in 50 UCs in Islamabad.
Yunus, a media studies graduate, said empowering local bodies would help improve the quality of life. He thinks more than party affiliation, people would vote the candidates who they think would help them out of their issues.
PPP Islamabad President Faisal Sakhi Butt said the party had completed the process of awarding party tickets. “We chose the candidates who are well known for their social services in their respective constituencies,” Butt said, hoping his party would fare well in the elections.
Tahir Nawaz, 50, is a PML-N candidate for the chairman of UC-5, Kot Hathyal (South). He is in the real estate business. The UC has 15,932 registered voters. Falling in rural Islamabad, the constituency lacks several basic amenities of life. “I enjoy strong backing of locals. If elected, I would work to resolve the problems facing the people in the constituency,” he said.
PML-N Islamabad General Secretary Sajid Abbasi said the party office had received hundreds of applications from the aspirant candidates. “PML-N has not yet completed the process of awarding tickets,” Abbasi said, adding the process was delayed due to disputes among the aspiring candidates for tickets in some of the constituencies.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek are also in the process of awarding party tickets.
Complete ticket process by 9th: ECP
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday instructed heads of political parties to issue party tickets to their nominated candidates till November 9. “Tickets are required to be presented to the Returning Officers by the candidates for allotment of party symbols,” a statement issued by ECP said.
According to the election schedule, final list of the contesting candidates with symbols allotted to them will be published on November 11.
Scrutiny of papers starts
The top election body on Sunday started the process of scrutiny of some 2,958 nomination papers submitted by the aspiring candidates.
For 50 slots of chairmen and vice-chairmen, who will contest as joint candidates, the ECP has received a total of 376 nomination papers.
A total of 1,502 nomination papers have been submitted for 300 general member seats at 50 UCs, while 401 nomination papers have been filed for 100 women members’ seats. Some 282 nomination papers each were received for 50 workers/peasants seats and 50 youth seats. Similarly, 115 non-Muslims have filed nomination papers for 50 seats reserved for them.
The scrutiny process would be completed till November 4.
Appeals against acceptance or rejection of papers would be filed on November 5 and 6 and would be disposed of on Nov 7 to 9. The candidates would have the option to withdraw their nomination papers by Nov 10, as the final list of candidates and allotment of election symbol would be published on Nov 11. Polling will be held on November 30.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2015.