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Pakistan Election News: Elections in Pakistan

At the national level, Pakistan elects a bicameral legislature, the Parliament of Pakistan, which consists of a directly-elected National Assembly of Pakistan and a Senate whose members are chosen by elected provincial legislators. The Prime Minister of Pakistan is elected by the National Assembly. The President of Pakistan is elected by the Electoral College of Pakistan, which consists of both houses of Parliament together with the provincial assemblies.

In addition to the national parliament and the provincial assemblies, Pakistan also has more than five thousand elected local governments.

Pakistan has a multi-party system, with numerous parties. Frequently, no single party holds a majority, and therefore parties must form alliances during or after elections, with coalition governments forming out of negotiations between parties.

General elections, 2008

General elections are due to be held on February 18th 2008.

Recent elections

Presidential election, 2004

On January 1, 2004, Gen. Pervez Musharaf won 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College of Pakistan, and according to 'Article 41(8)' of the Constitution of Pakistan, was "deemed to be elected" to the office of President until October, 2007. [2]
Electoral College Vote, January 1, 2004 Legislature Seats Absent Abstained Against For
Senate 100 43 0 1 56
National Assembly 342 93 58 0 191
Punjab Province 371 110 7 0 254
Sindh Province 168 27 42 0 99
North-West Frontier Province 124 27 67 0 30
Balochistan Province 65 36 1 0 28
Totals 1170 336 175 1 658

Prime-Ministerial election, 2004

Shaukat Aziz was elected Prime Minister on August 27, 2004, by a vote of 191 to 151 in the National Assembly of Pakistan, and was sworn in on August 24, 2004.

Parliamentary elections and composition
Senate after February 2003 elections Party Seats
PML/Q 40
PPPP 11
MMA 21
MQM/A 7
PML/N 4
NAP 3
PML/F 1
PkMAP 2
ANP 2
PPP/S 2
JWP 1
BNP-Awami 1
BNP-Mengal 1
BNM/H 1
Independents 3

Summary of the October 2002 National Assembly elections % of popular vote Seats
Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) 25.7 126
Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians 25.8 81
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan

* Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (Islamic Assembly)
* Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Assembly of Islamic Clergy)
* Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (Assembly of Pakistani Clergy)
* Tehrik-e-Islami (Movement for Islam)

11.3 63
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif) 9.4 19
Muttahida Qaumi Movement 3.1 17
National Alliance

* Sindh Democratic Alliance
* Millat Party
* Others

4.6 16
Pakistan Muslim League (Functional Group) 1.1 5
Pakistan Muslim League (Junejo) 0.7 3
Pakistan Peoples Party (Sherpao) 0.3 2
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf 0.8 1
Pakistan Awami Tehrik (Pakistan People's Movement} 0.7 1
Jamhoori Wattan Party (Republican National Party) 0.3 1
Pakistan Muslim League (Zia-ul-Haq Shaheed) 0.3 1
Pakistan Democratic Party 0.3 1
Balochistan National Party 0.2 1
Awami National Party 1.0 -
Pakhtun-khwa Milli Awami Party - 1
Independents - 3
Non-partisans (most joined one of the above parties) 14.1 21*
Female elected members (included in party seats above) . 60*
Minorities (included in party seats above) . 10*
Total (turnout 41.8 %) 342
Source: Pakistan Electoral Commission & CIA Factbook

* Not included in total. Except for three independents, most of these are included in the party-seat numbers

Electoral history
v • d • e
Pakistani presidential elections Flag of Pakistan
1965
Pakistani parliamentary elections Flag of Pakistan
1970 | 1977 | 1988 | 1990 | 1993 | 1997 | 2002 | 2008

Election of 1947 - 1958

In the period between 1947-1958, there were no direct elections held in Pakistan at the national level. Provincial elections were held occasionally. The West Pakistan provincial elections were described as "a farce, a mockery and a fraud upon the electorate" [3] The first direct elections held in the country after independence were for the provincial Assembly of the Punjab between March 10-20, 1951. The elections were held for 197 seats. As many as 939 candidates contested the election for 189 seats, while the remaining seats were filled unopposed. Seven political parties were in the race. The election was held on an adult franchise basis with approximately one-million voters. The turnout remained low. In Lahore, the turnout was 30 per cent of the listed voters and in rural areas of Punjab it was much lower.

On December 8, 1951, the North West Frontier Province held elections for Provincial legislature seats. In a pattern that would be repeated throughout Pakistan's electoral history, many of those who lost accused the winners of cheating and "rigging" the elections. Similarly, in May, 1953 elections to the Provincial legislature of Sindh were held and they were also marred by accusations of rigging. In April, 1954, elections were held for the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly, in which the 'Pakistan Muslim League' lost, and Bengali nationalists won. [4]

1977 General Elections

On January 7, 1977, Prime Minister Bhutto announced snap elections, and the general elections to the provincial and national assemblies were held on March 7 and 10, 1977, respectively. To many, the quick election date was arranged so as not to give sufficient time to the opposition in order for it to make decisions and arrangements in regard to the forthcoming elections. The total number of registered voters in the country was put at 30,899,052.

On January 11, 1977, all major and some minor opposition parties had cobbled together an electoral alliance, the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA), to contest elections against Bhutto’s PPP.

The official turnout figure was 63 percent – if 19 uncontested seats were discounted, the turnout was 80 percent (the 'PNA' boycotted the Balochistan elections because of an ongoing military operation). The 'PPP' won 58.1 percent of all the votes that were cast, and 136 of the 173 contested NA seats. The 'PNA' won only 35.1 per cent of the vote and 36 seats. 'PPP' had already won 19 NA seats unopposed including the home seat of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Larkana. The 'PNA' levelled allegations of massive vote-rigging and boycotted the provincial elections.

Seats Won in the 1977 Elections
Party Punjab Sind NWFP Balochistan Islamabad Tribal Areas Total
Pakistan Peoples Party 107 (93%) 32 (74%) 8 (31%) 7 (100%) 1 (100%) 0 155 (77.5%)
Pakistan National Alliance 8 (7%) 11 (26%) 17 (65%) 0 0 0 36 (18%)
Independent 0 0 1 (4%) 0 0 8 (100%) 9(4.5%)
Total Seats 115 43 26 7 1 8 200

National Assembly General Elections of (1988-1997)
Party 1988 1990 1993 1997
Pakistan Peoples Party 93 44 89 18
Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) 54 106 0 0
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) - - 73 137
Awami National Party 2 6 3 10
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)* 13 15 - 12
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman) 7 6 - 2
Other Parties/Indepenents ** 38 30 42 28
Total Turnout 43.07% 45.46% 40.28 35.42
Total Seats 207 207 207 207

N.B: All elections were contested under a separate electorate system, the 1990 elections had allegations of vote-rigging confirmed by foreign observers.[6] The 'MQM' contested the 1988 elections under the name Haq Parast group, it boycotted the 1993 National elections.



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