Musharraf agrees to reduce union council seats to 13
By Qamar Jabbar
LAHORE: President Pervez Musharraf has agreed to reduce the number of seats in union councils (UC) throughout the country to 13 from 21 ahead of the upcoming local council elections by amending the Local Government Ordinance 2002, Sardar Muhammad Awais, NWFP minister for local councils, told Daily Times on Thursday.
He said women’s seats would be reduced to 4 from 6, maintaining a 33 percent quota for women. One general and two peasant workers’ seats for women will be abolished by an amendment to the ordinance.
He said that Musharraf had also agreed to grant chief ministers powers to dismiss district nazims and transfer district coordination officers (DCO).
Sardar Awais said the local council elections would be supervised by the Provincial Election Authority instead of the Election Commission of Pakistan. He said that according to a proposed amendment to Section 129 of the ordinance, the chief minister could dismiss a district nazim if he thought that the nazim was deliberately avoiding or failing to comply with his directions or working against people’s interests or was guilty of misconduct.
The district nazim will be answerable to the Local Bodies Commission instead of the provincial assembly. The minister said that President Musharraf would announce the proposed amendments shortly and the provincial assemblies would approve them.
He denied that NWFP had demanded the appointment of administrators before the local council elections. Earlier addressing a press conference, Sardar Awais demanded the federal government release funds for the people hit by rain and avalanches. He thanked Sindh Chief Minister Dr Ghulam Arbab Raheem for announcing a grant of Rs 50 million for NWFP.