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ECP Decision: No Reserved Seats for Parties Without Electoral Symbols

Reserved Seats

As political uncertainty looms following the February 8 poll results in Pakistan, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) made a significant announcement on Tuesday, stating that political parties without electoral symbols will not be allocated reserved seats in the National Assembly.

The ECP’s decision comes in the backdrop of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) sponsored candidates emerging as the largest group, winning over 90 National Assembly seats. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) secured 75 and 54 seats, respectively.

The ECP clarified that the reserved seats, totaling 70 and designated for women and minorities, will be allotted based on the Election Act 2017. If winning independent candidates fail to join any party, the reserved seats will be distributed among political parties proportionally to their representation in the assemblies.

This development carries potential repercussions for the PTI, which had to contest the polls independently after losing its “bat” electoral symbol due to intra-party irregularities. With no single party securing a simple majority, the PTI, PML-N, and PPP now have the opportunity to form alliances to attain the necessary numbers to establish the government.

Given the PTI’s independent status and its victory in the elections, the party aims to forge alliances with other parties to secure its share of reserved seats. The PTI plans to partner with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and collaborate with Majlis-e-Wahdat-Muslimeen (MWM) in the Centre and Punjab.

In Punjab, where the PML-N is currently leading with 137 seats, the PTI would need to form alliances with independent candidates and other parties to establish a government. The ECP emphasized that political parties must submit the names of their candidates for reserved seats within the stipulated deadline.

This development adds another layer of complexity to the post-election landscape, with political maneuvering and coalition-building becoming crucial elements in the formation of the government.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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