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Pakistan

ECP reserves verdict on allocation of reserved seats

  • Hears petitions filed by Sunni Ittehad Council seeking allocation of women and minority seats
Published February 28, 2024

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) reserved on Wednesday its verdict on the petitions filed by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) seeking the allocation of women and minority seats.

A five-member bench of the ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and comprising Nisar Ahmed Durrani, Shah Muhammad Jatoi, Babar Hassan Bharwana and Ikramullah Khan is hearing these cases.

Speaking to the media, PTI’s Barrister Ali Zafar said that if their seats were distributed among the PML-N and PPP, then they will definitely approach the Supreme Court.

“It would be such a huge violation that it will make the election of prime minister, president, Senate, NA speaker and deputy speaker will become controversial and will hold no legitimacy,” he said.

“If the Election Commission of Pakistan wants to take forward the political system, then it will have to allocate reserved seats to the SIC members,” Gohar said.

Section 104(1) of the Elections Act 2017 states that for the election of seats reserved for women and non-Muslims in an assembly, the political parties contesting elections for such seats shall, within the period fixed by the Commission for submission of nomination papers, file separate lists of their candidates in order of priority for seats reserved for women and non-Muslims.

In the aftermath of the February 8 general elections, the PTI and SIC forged an alliance to get reserved seats in National Assembly, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assemblies.

The number of reserved seats in NA is 70; 60 for women and 10 for non-Muslims. The ECP has notified 38 out of 60 women seats in PA and the poll body’s decision whether to allot the remaining 22 seats to SIC remains pending.

Likewise, seven out of 10 non-Muslim seats in NA have been allotted and the ECP decision on remaining three seats to SIC candidates is pending.

Meanwhile, the inaugural session of the 16th National Assembly will be held on February 29 under Article 91 (2) of the Constitution with President Arif Alvi rejecting an earlier summary for summoning the session on the reported grounds of non-allocation of reserved seats to SIC.

Informed sources told Business Recorder that Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf chaired a consultative meeting on Monday after President Alvi rejected the summary and returned it with reservations of incomplete process of allocation of the reserved seats.

They said that after consultations with senior officials from Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice, it was decided that the summary signed by the caretaker Prime Minister will be sent to the Speaker National Assembly directly for summoning of the session instead of the President.

Comments

200 characters
KU Feb 28, 2024 04:32pm
Everyone knows what will be the verdict, after all, they are under oath to serve only select and beneficial masters.
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Johnny Walker Feb 28, 2024 05:02pm
CEC will only obey commands from the commanders. PTI should not hope.
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Aslam Tanoli Feb 28, 2024 11:45pm
Let me tell you in advance that no reserve seats will be given. That's the democracy in Pakistan
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