Local Self-Governance in Pakistan: Electoral Systems and Their Impact on Representation
Author: Irfan Kausar

Debate over electoral system designs is gaining momentum in Pakistan gradually, especially with regard to election to the national legislature. Electoral system helps to increase inclusiveness and contestability hence; it plays an important role in public policy decisions and governance arena. Pakistan has mostly followed colonial legacy of first-past-the-post system. However, voices are raised over the wastage of vote in this system. Some scholars have advocated considering other options for electoral system design but electoral systems available around the world have not been discussed at length. It is also pertinent to mention that devolution of power largely rests upon functional local self-governance. It is, therefore, imperative to evaluate and consider the importance of electoral system design in assessing governance at grass root level. This thesis is an effort to introduce different electoral systems currently in vogue in the world and to examine the electoral system adapted by the provinces in their local government legislation with special emphasis to descriptive, ideological and geographical representation. Mixed-method research strategy and descriptive case study research design has been followed for this research and secondary data published by the Election Commission of Pakistan relating to delimitation of Quetta, Zhob, Abbotabad, Bannu, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Ghotki and Sukkur has been used in this research. Findings of this study show that there is a need to rethink for enhancing female participation in political mainstream and the Punjab province has to do more in this regard as far as local self-governance is concerned. Innovative ideas are required for applying electoral system design at grass root level. Balochistan province may reconsider its electoral system design for local government in order to provide better geographical representation to its rural population. Last but not the least; this study might be helpful to examine issues of governance in local governments also with the prism of electoral system design Supervisor:- Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad

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Supervisor: Iftikhar Ahmad

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