The National Council for Homeopathy (NCH) has yet to announce its election despite passing the expiry date of its constitutional period on Monday, raising serious questions regarding the working of the incumbent council.
According to sources, the rules require the elections to be conducted three months before the expiry of the council’s constitutional period, which means that the election should have been held in December.
The NCH is an autonomous body constituted to regulate the education, examination, regulation, and registration of practitioners of unania, ayurvedic, and homoeopathic medicine in Pakistan. The council was formed in 1965, when the homeopathic system of medicine was recognized by the Government of Pakistan, under the Unanim Ayurvedic, and Homoeopathic Practitioners Act, 1965.
According to the code of conduct of the council, the election of its members is held every five years on a provincial basis through a direct balloting system. All registered homeopathic practitioners cast their votes for all seats of their province.
The council consists of 21 members, of which four are nominated by the provincial governments (one from each), eleven are elected from amongst registered and listed homoeopaths, two are elected from amongst themselves by the teachers of recognized homoeopathy institutions, and four are nominated by the federal government, of whom one is a scientist from the related field and one is the ministry of health’s deputy secretary (budget).
When this scribe contacted NCH President Homeopathic Doctor Mehmood Ul Haq Abbasi, he said that the tenure of the council would be completed on June 07, as the notification of his appointment a president had been issued on June 8, 2012.
He said that the election has to be conducted within 90-days, but could be held even a month before the expiry of the existing council’s tenure.
The president said that the council should not be blamed for delaying the election, as the council had written around ten times since January to the federal government regarding the conduction of its elections. However, the government has yet to appoint an administrator and announce the election’s date, the president maintained.
To a question about the appointment of an administrator, he said that it was not mandatory and there was even no need to appoint an administrator for holding the election. The election should be held under the present set up, he claimed.
He said that the administrators in the past served no purpose, and only served as corrupt middlemen. “The incumbent council is willing to hold timely elections and creates no hurdles; so it makes no sense to appoint an administrator,” Abbasi added.
The president said that one administrator even took away with him a vehicle of the council and recruited 36 favourites from the federal government to the council and no one had held him accountable yet.