THE local government set-up in Karachi is divided into three tiers — union committees (UCs), town municipal corporations (TMCs) and City Council/Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).
In the previous local government set-up, the seven districts of Karachi were divided into as many district municipal corporations and there were 209 UCs and 99 reserved seats in the city in the last local government elections.
But, in the new set-up the DMCs have been replaced with 25 towns comprising different number of vice-chairmen of union committees as well as members to be elected on different reserved seats.
In the new set-up, there are 246 union committees across the city and their elected chairmen represent the KMC’s City Council, which will have a total of 367 members after the indirect election of people on 121 reserved seats. The youth, non-Muslims and labourers have five per cent seats each, while one per cent of the seats have been reserved each for persons with disabilities and transgender persons.
The City Council’s 121 seats include 81 reserved seats for women, 12 each for labourers, youth and minorities, and two each for transgender and differently-abled people.
367-member City Council to elect next mayor
The house of 367 members will then elect a mayor and a deputy mayor by a show of hands.
As per the local government law, a chairman and a vice chairman along with four general councillors jointly contest the election in 246 UCs as a panel, not as individuals, meaning thereby there would be 246 directly elected UC chairmen and as many vice-chairmen and 984 general councillors.
These six elected representatives in a UC will nominate councillors for the reserved seats (two women, one labour or peasant, one youth member and one non-Muslim member).
There will be 25 town municipal councils, which will separately elect a chairman and vice chairman from its total members by a show of hands.
The seven now-abolished DMCs were Korangi, South, West, Malir, Central and East. DMC Keamari was created after the election.
Four towns were made with as many TMCs in district Korangi — Model Colony Town, Shah Faisal Town, Landhi Town and Korangi Town. The four towns are comprised of total 37 union committees.
The district South has two towns — Saddar Town and Lyari Town — and 26 UCs.
In West, three towns — Orangi Town, Mominabad Town, Manghopir Town — were carved out with 26 UCs.
In district Malir, three towns — Gadap Town, Malik Town and Ibrahim Hyderi Town — with 30 UCs were created.
Five towns were created in district Central — New Karachi Town, North Nazimabad Town, Gulberg Town, Liaquatabad Town and Nazimabad Town — with 45 UCs.
District East has five towns: Sohrab Goth, Safoora, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Jamshed Town and Chanesar Goth. Jamshed Town has 11 UCs, while all the other towns are based on eight UCs.
District Keamari has three towns — Baldia Town, Mauripur and Moriro Mirbahar — with total 32 UCs.
Polls on reserved seats within one month, says Murad
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the election on reserved seats of City Council, TMCs, district councils, etc, would be held within a month to finalise the process of election of mayor, deputy mayor and district chairmen.
Talking to media persons on Monday here at the Karachi Expo Center, where he visited the Iranian Single Country Exhibition, the chief minister said that the conduct of free, fair, and peaceful elections of local government was the manifestation of his government’s commitment to the people of the province and to the democratic process.
He congratulated all the successful candidates, irrespective of their party affiliation.
Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2023