PTI’s Mazari criticises Punjab’s party-less LB polls

Sunday, August 18th, 2013 12:34:38 by

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has criticised the Punjab government’s decision to hold non-party Local Government polls in the Province.

PTI’s Central Information Secretary, Dr Shireen Mazari, said that to hold partyless LG polls was a revival of the dictatorial legacies of Zia and Musharraf.  

“Instead of strengthening the democratic norms from the grassroots up, PMLN was undermining the roots of democracy. What is the fear in the minds of the PMLN, Dr Mazari wondered? That they would be exposed at the grassroots levels for lack of support orcapacity to deliver or both?  

Dr Mazari said PTI strongly believes that a democratic culture is only as strong as its roots; and, by having non-party elections at the level of local government, PMLN was undermining a democratic electoral culture where people are trained in Party politics comprising ideological commitment and discipline from the village to the national level.

“This is the way of dictators and bureaucracies to strengthen themselves against the political forces within the country,” Mazari added and expressed dismay at the PMLN for aiding the same and thereby strengthening these forces while weakening political democratic forces at grassroots level.  

Dr Mazari also pointed out that PTI felt it was wrong to increase the eligibility age for candidates to 25 yrs for LG polls.

“Instead younger community workers and political activists should have been allowed to have access to contesting elections and learning the political dos and donts so that by 25 years of age they would have been trained in a strong democratic culture and been better equipped to serve the nation at the provincial and national level legislatures. To wait till 25 years of age to serve the local community in an elected capacity serves no purpose at all and only once again undermines the establishment of a streong grassroots democratic foundation within the country.”


Dr Mazari concluded that PMLN seems determined to revive the dictatorial legacies of the past in Punjab by framing a non-party LG model for the Province. “Through a ‘tyranny of the majority’ they can force the implementation of this model, thereby again reviving the tyranical legacies of past dictatorships.”


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