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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday notified the allocation of reserved seats for women and minorities, which were claimed by PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), to other political parties.

The move came a day after the electoral watchdog rejected the Sunni Ittehad Council’s (SIC) petition, seeking the allocation of reserved seats following a ‘merger’ with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for this specific purpose.

The ECP was requested to allot the seats on the basis of the inclusion of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed candidates in their party.

However, the election commission distributed the reserved seats for women and minorities among other political parties.

In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly – according to a notification, the ECP allocated one reserved seat each to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Pakistan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

The ECP – in the Sindh Assembly – allocated reserved seat for women to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and PPP. PPP’s Samita Afzal and MQM-P’s Fouzia Hameed elected on reserved seats.

Furthermore, PPP’s Sadhu Mal alias Surinder Valasai secured minority seat in Sindh Assembly.

The ECP allocated three reserved seats for minorities to PML-N, PPP and JUI-F – which were claimed by Sunni Ittehad Council. PML-N’s Neelam Meghwar, PPP’s Ramesh Kumar and JUI-F’s James Iqbal were elected on the minority seats.

PTI candidates contested the elections as independents after the Supreme Court upheld the election supervisor’s decision, considering its intra-party polls “unconstitutional” and revoked its claim on the electoral symbol of ‘bat’.

As per the Constitution, the reserved seats are allocated to the political parties on the basis of the number of their lawmakers elected on the general seats. For their allocation, the ECP had already received the priority list of candidates from the parties before the Feb 8 polls.

The situation this year is different from the previous elections as the largest group of lawmakers are independents, who cannot have the reserved seats.

There are a total of 346 reserved seats for women – 60 in the NA and 66, 29, 26, and 11 in the provincial legislatures of Punjab, Sindh, K-P, and Balochistan.

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