Local governance is a legal requirement in Pakistan, thanks to Article 140A of the 18th Amendment.

Yet, it required the Supreme Court to pursue the matter to make sure local governance elections were held by the provinces.

And yet, we have a long way to go before local governance can become a meaningful fixture across the country.

Dawn's latest editorial reminds us that the PPP and PML-N made little mention of this constitutional requirement in their 2013 manifestos. They stayed true to their word by not doing much to devolve power during the five years they were in government.

The only party to come through on local governance is the PTI:

In KP, the LG system is, on paper and in practice so far, forward-thinking and innovative. The extension of franchise to the village and neighbourhood level, including the funnelling of significant powers and monies to village councils and neighbourhood councils, is unprecedented. Mandating that at least 30pc of the provincial development government be transferred to LGs is historic.

The coming five years of a new civilian government are crucial for Pakistan's struggling democracy. To strengthen the democratic system, more power and representation needs to be given to local constituencies.

As our editors hope, "the positive LG example the [PTI] has set may encourage other parties to follow suit."

Opinion

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Editorial

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