Effective Local Political Structures and Leadership

Party Based Elections in Local Government

CC election is not held on party basis. It has been barred by the provision of the law. Despite the fact, party politics play an important role in influencing the election result. Thus, the door could be opened for party-based election. The argument is that all the major political parties put their best effort to make sure that their candidate (through informal nomination) gets elected. But, once they lose, the parties do not want to bear the responsibility. Thus, in order to make the party accountable, the system of party-based election should be introduced. However, it is the responsibility of the Election Commission and the Government to make sure that elections take place in a free, fair, and credible manner.

Local Government’s Control Over Administration and Service Delivery

  • (i) Although CCs have been entrusted with the power to frame regulations concerning the procedure and direction of its own activity or activities of standing committees and other committees, they are subject to the government interferences in many occasions. For instance, the government appoints the CEO and the secretary of the CC. Despite having legal authority to frame rules relating to recruitment of required number of officials, staffs, and consultant for effective execution of the functions of the CC, they do not enjoy full autonomy to exercising the power in hiring and firing their staff. The Ministry of Public Administration appoints first- and second-class officials while CC appoints third- and fourth-class employees only. There is a provision in the law that has directed the CC to form an employee selection board to consider the appointment of third- and fourth-class employees, with the sitting mayor acting as the chair of the board. Thus, it can be said that CC enjoys very limited autonomy in the recruitment and selection of high officials. As a matter of fact, appointment and empowerment of the CEO has become a great threat to the functional autonomy of the CC. Thus, unrestrained power of the CEO should be controlled.
  • (ii) On the one hand, the law has assigned the CC the power to levy taxes on specific things, but on the other hand, it has allowed the government to interfere in the activities of the CC. For instance, government’s approval on the levied taxes is mandatory for the CC to get those into effect. Thus, the CC would only be able to publish the levied tax schedule through a gazette notification once it would get the approval of the government. However, the government retains the rights to provide direction to bring changes in the imposed taxes, tolls, fees, and others.
  • (iii) The review of different provisions suggests that the process of enactment of legislation on urban governments is strictly controlled by the central government as detailed rules relating to conduct of elections; business, authority, and responsibilities of elected representatives are framed by them. In addition, the central government also formulates detailed rules as to how the CC’s taxes are to be levied and assessed, how budgets are to be prepared, contracts are to be awarded, audits are to be carried out, and accounts are to be maintained among other important areas. Additionally, the central government makes appointments, and service matter and employment-related rules for the local-government institutions. In some rare cases, when CCs make rules, these cannot be put into effect without prior approval from the central government. Due to these types of control of the central government, CCs fail to exert control over administration and service delivery. Thus, the intensity of central government’s control on the legislation process of the CC must have to be reduced.
 
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