First ever women panel rejected; serious reservations on postal ballot and ballot paper
LAHORE- The PDA elections are on and after scrutiny only 3 panels; two from Karachi and one from Islamabad have been cleared to contest. Unfortunately the first ever women only panel could not get the nod of the chief election commissioner Justice Syed Afzal Haider.
PDA Central Council and Zonal Council representative elections are going to be held on March 04 as per the decision of the Honorable Sindh High Court (civil suit # 1700/2009).
All Pakistan Medical & Dental Council’s registered dental surgeons are eligible to vote through a postal ballot from all over Pakistan. Ballot paper can be downloaded and details like name, PMDC registration number and CNIC number added to it and copies attached to be couriered or sent through UMS to the Chief Election Commissioner’s address in Lahore.
The election is keenly contested specially between the two panels from Karachi headed by Dr. Mahmood Haider and Dr Saqib Rashid respectively. Both the panelists have raised concern on the process adopted for the elections especially the details on the postal ballot where name of the voter is mandatory. Senior dentists and past president of the PDA while talking to Dental News said that postal ballot is the least transparent system of voting and EC should have adopted a physical ballot wherever possible to ensure free and fair elections.
The CEC is not accessible to anyone and has refused to answer phone calls and messages seeking clarifications regarding their concerns. The address given on the ballot paper does not have a phone number or email for anyone to be able to contact the CEC. This will be the first time that PDA elections are being handled by a paid CEC who, it is learnt, was paid half a million rupees for this assignment.
This was the first time in the history of PDA that women’s only panel is contesting as “Pakistan Dental Panel” in PDA Central Council Elections, a process that always who and is dominated by male dentists.
The panel was headed by Dr Samia Siraj as President. She is an eminent orthodontist and assistant professor at KMDC. Dr Nida Mir (LCMD), Dr Filza Minhas (FJDC) and Dr. Sajida Saleem (KMDC) are the other members of the Panel. Dr Samia sharing her views said that more than 85% dentists in Pakistan and the cream of dentistry are female but, unfortunately, there have never been any representation of the female dentists on any platform.
Talking to Dental News, Dr Samia Siraj also shared the objectives of Pakistan Dental Panel as empowering youth and female dentists in PDA; equal opportunity to female dentists to contest in PDA elections, to address the female dentists’ issues like jobs, dental practice and post-graduate studies.
Dr Samia showed her firm belief that female dentists of the country will support this new female, as being leadership honest, creative, efficient and determinant and vote for Pakistan Dental Panel.
It is reliably learnt that one leading panel is thinking of going to court as they feel that their objections against the other panel were over-ruled by the Chief Election Commissioner without assigning any reason. If this happened the election process may be halted yet again which will only be detrimental for the dental community as a whole.
Printed and duly filled in balloting papers along with the required documents need to be sent to the Election Commision before 8th March 2013. So, please send the duly filled in balloting paper along with the required attested documents to Justice (rtd) Syed Afzal Haider, 58-G Gulberg 3, Lahore
Zonal Vice president Candidates Sindh
Dr Nasir Ali Khan
Dr Feroze Ali
Dr Nazir Ahmed Samo
Zonal Representative Candidates
Dr Kashif Ali
Dr Aamir Mehmood Butt
Dr Hasan Mehdi
Dr Jamshed Raza Abro