Petition with CEC on Cantt Board Elections in NA250

ECP.jpgI have filed a petition with Justice Raza Khan (Chief Election Commissioner) to re-demarcate Wards in Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) as there is a huge discrepancy of voters between the wards.  The Presidential Ordinance of March 2013 makes ECP responsible to have uniform distribution of voters among wards.  My petition also insists that elections should be held on 'party' basis. Full petition can be seen here:

March 25th 2013

Mr Justice Mohammad Raza Khan,

Chief Election Commissioner, Islamabad

Dear Sir,

The Election Commission of Pakistan is responsible for holding the election in the Cantonment Boards in Pakistan by law as it currently exists.

I was elected in 2013 as a member of the National Assembly from NA-250 which has two Cantonment Boards totally contained within its boundaries.  They are Cantonment Board Clifton and Cantonment Board Karachi.

Ordinance VI of 2015 promulgated by the President on March 5, 2015 in Section 3, Clause 11 (as it amends the Ordnance of 2002) states that:

 “Delimitation of Wards of a Cantonment: (1) The Election Commission shall delimit a cantonment into wards…..” and it establishes a principle under which such wards shall be delimited in Section 3, Clause 11 (2) (c) as under:

“The population of wards within a cantonment shall as far as possible, be uniform”

This Presidential Ordinance VI further states in Section 3, Clause 11 (3) that:

The wards of a cantonment shall be delimited in accordance with this Ordnance and the rules made thereunder. As far as possible, the principles of delimitation as laid down under the Delimitation of Constituencies Act, 1974 (XXXIV of 1974), the rules made thereunder or any other law for the time being in force shall be followed”.

Sir,  the primary principle of delimitation is established by this ordinance that the ‘population of the wards shall as far as possible be uniform’, and further guidance may be taken from the Delimitation of Constituencies Act.

The Wards in Cantonment Board Clifton has the following existing delimitations as per voters in each Ward: 

Ward

Votes

1.

5843

2.

5677

3.

7254

4.

12843

5.

8231

6.

10630

7.

8305

8.

17197

9.

41442

10.

25620

There is a serious discrepancy in voter numbers from the smallest Ward # 1 which has only 5843 votes to the highest number in Ward # 9 which has 41442 votes.  This discrepancy violates the letter and spirit of the Ordinance promulgated by the President of Pakistan on March 5 2015 under which the Cantonment Board elections are going to be held. 

I would further like to state that the Lahore High Court had issued an order under which Local Body elections in Punjab should not be held on a non-party basis.  We believe that in this day and age, and in the way democracy has in-grained itself in Pakistan it would be grossly unfair that Cantonment Board elections are held on a non-party basis.  When this law is implemented, the political parties just form ‘semantically similar’ groups and violate the same in spirit if not in law.

Prayer:

1.   In view of the facts and law cited above, I would like to request you to order immediate and fair new delimitation of the wards in Cantonment Board Clifton so that “the population of wards within a cantonment shall as far as possible, be uniform”. This can be done either by

a)Further dividing

       i.   Ward # 8 into two Wards

       ii.     Ward # 9 into four Wards and

       iii.     Ward # 10 into 3 Wards

or

  1. If the law does not allow increasing the number of Wards to re-demarcate or delimit in such a manner that all the 10 wards have a uniform population.
  2. In all fairness a similar exercise be conducted in all the Cantonments in the country.
  3. Cantonment Board Elections should be held on ‘party basis’.

I would like to request that this petition may be considered urgently so that there is no delay in the election process. 

Yours sincerely,

Dr Arif Alvi

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf


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