LAHORE: Speakers at a seminar said reserved seats are temporary steps to improve the political participation of women, minorities and other groups, according to a press release.

“In Punjab, around 38 per cent of seats were reserved and not directly elected. There is generally weaker accountability of those not directly elected as they cannot be voted out by citizens” they said.

The Democracy Reporting International (DRI) arranged the moot to present findings and recommendations of Election Assessment Missions to the local government elections in Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan. “As a result of reserved seats, women and minorities were discouraged from running on general seats. For example we gather that in Punjab less than 0.003% of candidates for general seats were women. So these reserved seats that are not directly elected are not helping women participate the mainstream”, said Hassan NasirMirbahar, DRI Team Leader. –PR