Local Bodies Elections: Axis of Angles

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The local bodies elections 2005 in the country were contested in two phases but the outcome more or less was the same. The “Axis of Angles” won the majority of seats in most of the Union Councils [UCs]. The ruling coalition claimed it Crystal And Transparent. The opposition termed it Rigged And Engineered. Many innocent and to some extent goof people lost their lives during the tussle of local bodies elections 2005. 11 killed in the first round of elections in 3,032 union councils in 53 districts. Government verified 19 deaths; unofficial sources had put the toll at 29 in 2nd round of elections. In the big cities like Karachi and Lahore and most of the rural areas, the candidates mobilized the masses in large numbers to win the race.

The local bodies elections 2005 was the real showdown of secretive affiliation of the ruling party, manipulation of castes, supremacy of tribes, widespread of money, execution of brutal political power and the last not the least purgative use of religion by the MMA in the NWFP and FATA. The lust for power and district Nazimship slots of Peshawar and other cities was so strong that two major factions/parties of MMA, “The Jamaat-e-Islami” joined hands with “Awami National Party” and “JUI-F” compromised with “PPP-Sherpao” group. Is it politics of contradiction or real face of our national (religious) culture? Both factions of the MMA and especially The Jamaat-e-Islami previously considered the ANP “Kafir”. People should really thankful to local bodies elections, which undoubtedly unearthed the real face of our so-called sacred religious leaders.

The local bodies’ election was contested on non-party basis but it was witnessed that it had all the incrgidents of “Party Politics”.

The table [1] shows that despite the official stance (non-party) the whole process of holding local bodies elections 2005 was done on part basis.

The opposition claimed that there was a very clear and visible support to candidates from major political parties. According to them the two Chief Ministers of two big provinces openly nominated and supported their candidates and did all the good for their expected victories. They stressed that one of the chief ministers had the “Magic Stick” who could even get it done ” unopposed”. The true spirits of “Charity Begins At Home” was the dominant factor in the local bodies elections 2005. Local bodies elections were treated with the utmost seriousness. And ruling parties tried their levels best to score a decisive victory before the coming next general elections 2007. Lots of money was poured in the local bodies elections 2005 to gain victory.

Group Positions Of All Four Provinces In Local Bodies Polls 2005 (Phase-I)

The acting election commissioner spoke of 60% turnout in the elections. But according to independent sources turnout was range 35-45% in the country. All the opposition parties showed signs of distrust on the performance of EC. In fair assessment many cases EC could not come up to the people’s expectations. The EC should review their performance before and on the polling day so as to prepare themselves for a truly honest and transparent general election in 2007. [2]

Group Positions Of All Four Provinces In Local Bodies Polls 2005 (Phase-II)

According to the unofficial results, 1,243 Nazims from Punjab, 369 from Sindh, 367 from NWFP and 195 Nazims from Balochistan have been declared successful. According to the 1243 results of the UC’s from Punjab, independent candidates have been successful in 333 UC’s while the Khushal Pakistan group of the PML-Q has emerged as the most successful group.

PUNJAB

In our national politics, Punjab always plays important role. It is seemed that Kith& kin was the winner of local bodies elections phase-II. Blue blood of ruling junta became the order of the day. The Khushal Pakistan group (PML-Q) won seats in 154 UC’s while the Muslim League (Q) secured 537 seats through alliances and seat adjustments with different groups and parties. The Watan Nawaz group (PML (N) won 77 seats, ARD got 25 seats. The Rao Sikandar group (Federal Minister of Defence) of the people’s party got 7 seats, Jamat-e-Islami’s Al-Khidmat group got 12 and many other groups won 25 seats individually and through seat adjustments in 25 union councils.

SINDH

Fierce battle was fought between Haq parast(MQM) and Al-Khidmat(Jamat-e-Islami) for the victory in Hyderabad and other places. In Sindh the Awam Dost Panel won 100, Faqir Dost won 58, Haq parast won 25, independent candidates won 12, and the joint candidates of Khushal Pakistan and Haq Parast won six seats. The Sindh National front has won 5, the Awami Ittehad Shahdad Kot, Ittehad Millat panel, Sindh Dost Ittehad and Bajarani candidates have won six seats.

NWFP

In the 367 UC’s of NWFP, independent candidates have won in 96 UC’s. The PML-Q’s Khushal Pakistan has won 62 seats and has been successful in 32 UC’s. The Jamaat-e-Islami has won 16 seats through seat adjustments with 30 more different groups. The Pakistan People’s Party has won 45 seats through seat adjustments, the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam has won 41, the PML-N has won 17 and the Awami National Party has won 17 seats.

BALOCHISTAN

According to the 195 UC’s of Balochistan the coalitions include the Baloch Yekhjaiti Panel, Awami Panel, Awami National Party, Watan Dost Group, Qalat Awami Ittehad, Jamhoori Panel, Watan Dost Panel, Haq Parast, Al-Jamiat Panel, Magsi Panel won 70 seats while independent candidates won 44 seats, Khushal Pakistan and its partners won 51 seats JUI won 20, PPPP won two seats, Balochistan National Party Mengal group won five seats and the National party’s national panel won three seats.

The President General Pervaiz Musharraf is very happy on the final outcome of local bodies elections 2005 and treated it as Victory of “Modernist” and “Visionary” people. According to governments the dream of “Devolution of Power” at gross root levels has been matured and “People’s Democracy” has been achieved.

Post-Local Bodies Elections 2005 Scenarios

The signs of rift have been emerged on the horizons of our national politics. The conflicting ground realties and regional socio-economic compulsions have forced many influential politicians, MNAs and MPAs of ruling coalition to go against the wishes of their masters. The hot pursuit for “Town” and “District Nazim” slots is the order of the day for them especially in the Punjab and is compelling the different sects within the ruling parties to act according to their own fears than to orders of the masters. The CM nominations for the Nazim slots have further divided the ruling party as some of the senior leaders are and were considering nominations as direct interference in their political constituencies. The Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz wants party differences bridged immediately. The PPPP said that government is terrorizing opposition leadership and people in the third phase of LG Polls. The opposition is ready to take on government in National Assembly for so-called rigging LG polls. In Punjab, all the opposition parties are engaged to field Joint Candidate for District and Tehsil Nazims. The ARD decided not to take in any kind of elections under the regime of the president of Pakistan Gen Pervaiz Musharrf in the future. In the National Assembly some members of ruling party also spoke against the allegedly rigging by the speaker of NA. Is it dangerous or surprising move? The elections of district, tehsil, and town Nazims have been rescheduled and now it will be held on October 6 2005 instead of September 29.

Fair Assessment

The Local Bodies Elections 2005 is the Semi-Final before the general elections of 2007. The level of common people participation was reasonable. By appointing an independent EC, government can win the support of all the opposition parties. The deployment of joint police and army patrolling could not stop the killings of many people. Booths capturing, rigging, denial of vote right to women and violence can be adverted by good and effective management and having true political commitment. The mandate of opponents should be respected and shared equally. It is also strongly recommended that all the winning candidates and parties should immediately resolve their mutual differences and better to engage in the solution of people’s real problems i.e. clean drinking water, free schooling, violence free society, employment, network of cottage and SMEs, health facilities and the above Respect of the Common People. It is strongly suggested that next local bodies elections should be conducted on Party Basis. Let us hope that axis of true people will be respected over axis of angles because “Man” is sacred than Angle”.

Conclusion

It is our national character and lesson of the history that people use to obey the orders of the “Sitting Power” or worships the “Rising Sun”. The opposition’s rigging propagations and stupidity in the National Assembly will gather no storm in the domestic national politics. The results of local bodies elections 2005 will definitely pay the dividends in the general elections 2007. “Victory” and “Defeat” is the part of the democratic process not the “Echo Of The Heart”. Let us work jointly for the greater &stronger Pakistan and brighter common future.

Tables / Notes:

[1].

Name of the Group

Party’s Affiliation

Khushal Pakistan

Muslim Leage(Q)

Awam Dost

PPPP

Haq Parast

MQM

Al Khidmat

Jamaat-e-Islami

Watan Nawaz

Muslim Leage(N)

Tehmina Daultana Group

Muslim Leage(N)

Faqir Dost Panel

Coalition parties of Sindh

—————————————————–

[2].

Name of the Party

No. Of Seats

PUNJAB TOTAL SEATS OF UCs 1654

 

Pakistan Muslim League and its allied parties

550

PPPP

145

PML-N

80

Independents

80

Leghari Group

24

Chatha Group

31

Tehmina Daultana Group

21

MMA

10

The above figure shows that the Ch Shujat & Ch. Pervaiz Elahi is the ultimate victor of the local bodies elections 2005. Muslim League (Q) and its allies got the majority. The PML (N) was badly defeated.

SINDH TOTAL SEATS OF UCs 547

 

Faqir Dost Panel

186

Haq Parast Group

56

Awam Dost Panel

31

Magsi Ittehad

56

Al Khidmat

16

Independent

13

Khushal Pakistan & Awam Dost

3

PPP-P

4

Gharib Dost

3

Junejo Group

2

Watan Dost

1

Jam Group

1

It is clear-cut indication of the above data that the Chief Minister of Sindh has some so-called miracle power. A record number of candidates were elected unopposed. PPPP has lost its glory in some parts the province. The golden days for Al Khidmat (Jamaat-e-Islami) are over. Haq Parast Group (MQM) merged as winner in Karachi.

NWFP

 

Independent

80

PML (Q)

19

Al-Khidmat

22

Awam Dost

22

Watan Dost & ANP

13

Al-Khidmat & Awam Dost

6

PPPP

3

JUI-F

10

Tehrik Insaaf/Al-Khidmat

2

Independent/Al-Khidmat

1

Watan Dost/Al-Khidmat

1

MMA

1

Awam Dost / Watan Dost

2

PPP-Sherpao

2

PPP-ANP

2

PML-Q /JI

2

JI/ANP

1

It is seemed that MMA has lost its strong footings in the province and especially in the urban areas. The "Divorce" among the different factions of the MMA is imminent. Marriage between the ANP and Jamaat-e-Islami is the hallmark of the local bodies elections. It also shows that there is "religion has noting to do in the politics than the mantra of "Power". Majority of women were deprived from the right of voting in many areas.

BALOCHISTAN TOTAL SEATS 149

 

Awami Ittehad-backed by the ruling parties

70

Nationalist parties including Jamhoori Watan Party/Balochistan National Party/ Pakistan National Party jointly

29

MMA

11

Independent

23

PPP backed group

5

Pashtun Khawah Milli Awami Party

2

Regional parties under the umbrella of ruling party got the leading position. Colour of regional politics dominated over the spirits of nationalism. Nationalist parties also felt their presence in many areas of the province.

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