Impact of the Informal Institutional Forces on the Local Government Elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Keywords:Local Government, Election, Elections, Decentralisation, Devolution, Accountability, Public Accountability, Governance, Local Governance, Good Governance
Local government is visualised as a tool for promoting political participation, downward accountability, which consequently leads to the establishment of good governance at the grass-root level. In the establishment of the local government system, the main ingredients of good governance, such as participation and downward accountability, reckon almost on the nature of elections. However, societies marked with strong cultural and socially embedded informal institutions, already existed from generations, hinder formal institutions to play its intended role. In Pakistan, some socio-cultural features like gender, ascribed status, and economic background of the individuals influence the entire process of elections adversely. This paper attempts to assess the processes of the local government elections in District Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan. It aims to highlight the deterministic role of other informal institutional forces that affect the outcome of local elections. It investigates, how the process of local government elections is influenced in Pakistan and how do people decide whom to vote for in these elections. The study argues that policymakers should work on strengthening the formal institutions of elections through measures such as monitoring by media, referendums, auditing, evaluations, education, and political awareness as alternatives to ensure good governance at the local level in Pakistan.
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