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Pakistan Election News: List of political parties in Pakistan

Political parties in Pakistan lists political parties in Pakistan. Pakistan has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.

Parties active in national and provincial politics

Major parties and coalitions

1.Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), the parliamentary wing of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was founded in 1967, on November 30 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who became its first chairman and later Prime Minister of Pakistan. This party has been active in Pakistani Politics after the separation of East Wing from the rest of Pakistan. The party gained much popularity and support from masses in in era of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The party won the 1971 elections on socialist mandate of "Roti, Kapra, Makan" (Bread, Clothes & Shelter). PPP took control of the country after the Indian supported Civil War of 1971. After the first parliamentary term, PPP secured a landslide victory in 1977 elections to rule for further five years.

Opposition parties claimed that the election was heavily rigged by PPP. Tensions mounted and despite the agreement was reached between opposition and PPP, martial law was imposed in the country by Gen. Zia ul Haq. Bhutto was hanged in 1977 after a very controversial trial in which he was found guilty of murder of a political opponent. His daughter Benazir Bhutto was elected twice as the prime minister but her government was dismissed both times on corruption charges, none of them proven in the court despite many years of proceedings.

PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) was a socialist nationalist party when formed by Zalfikar Ali Bhutto, but moved toward the right under Benazir Bhutto. Zalfikar Ali Bhutto wanted closer ties with China and more attention to the lower classes. Benazir Bhutto adopted conservative privatization policies in order to secure funding from the United States and the World Bank. Although twice elected Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto was criticized for corruptions and extra-judicial killings.

The PPP currently holds 81 seats in the national assembly and 11 seats in the senate. It forms the provincial government in Sindh is the official opposition in Punjab. In the Angus-Reid pre-election polls of 22-December-2007, it was in first place, with about 30% of the vote. It is strong in the rural areas of Sindh and Punjab.

2. Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML "Nawaz group")is a centrist conservative party that has been led from Saudi Arabia by Nawaz Sharif. It currently holds 19 seats in the national assembly and 4 seats in the senate. Although twice elected as Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif was criticized for wide-spread corruption and extra-judicial killings. In the Angus-Reid pre-election polls of 22-December, the PML/N was in second place, with about 25% of the vote. It is strong in Punjab province.

3. Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML "Quaid-i-Azam group"), the party supporting current president, Pervez Musharraf), and officially called Pakistan Muslim League. PML/Q is a centrist conservative party that forms the current national government. It currently holds 142 seats in the national assembly and 43 seats in the senate. The PML/Q formed from the split of the PML following the arrest and exile of PML leader and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The PML/Q absorbed some minor parties through power-sharing agreements.

Although initially popular, Musharraf has been criticized for supporting the US invasion of Afghanistan and suspension of legal rights. In the Angus-Reid pre-election polls of 22-December-2007, the PML/Q was in third place, with about 23% of the vote. It is strong in urban areas of the two large provinces (Punjab and Sindh). It forms the provincial government in Punjab.

4. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), previously known as Mohajir Qaumi Movement. The party was formed firstly as student's organization in University of Karachi as the All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organization (APMSO) in 11 June 1978. This student organization was founded when the thousands of Mohajir students (Urdu-speaking immigrants from India after partition) were deprived of their rights and jobs in both private & government organizations. The students were faced with harsh quotas introduced by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto which deprived Mohajir students of their seats in Universities and higher educational institutions. That led to the formation of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement in 1984. The name was changed to Mutthaida Qaumi Movement in 1997 in order to fight for the rights of 98% oppressed people in Pakistan. Altaf Hussain is the head of this political organiztion. MQM currently holds 17 seats in the national assembly and 7 seats in the senate. It is the official opposition in Sindh province. In the Angus Reid poll of 22-December, the MQM was in sixth place, with 2% of the vote

5. Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a coalition of six religious parties consisting of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) (Assembly of Islamic Clergy, Fazl-ur-Rahman Group), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (S) (Assembly of Islamic Clergy, Sami-ul-Haq Group) Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (Assembly of Pakistani Clergy), Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadith and a few more. The religious alliance forms the government in Northwest Frontier Province. It leads the coalition government in Balochistan with PML Quaid-e-Azam.

MMA is de-centrist. It is the official opposition nationally. It is strong in the two small provinces. It is legally ultra-conservative and economically socialist. It strongly opposes US military presence in Pakistan. It currently holds 63 seats in the national assembly and 21 seats in the senate. In the Angus-Reid pre-election pollsof 22-December, the MMA was in fifth place, with 4% of the vote.

6. Twelve other parties hold a total of 20 seats in the national assembly and 18 seats in the senate. The PTI party led by Imran Khan is boycotting the elections, but was in fourth place in the Angus-Reid poll of 22-December, with 6% of the vote. The PTI is strong in NWFP, where it forms the official opposition.

===Minor parties===

* Awami National Party
* Awami Tehreek
* Balochistan National Party
* Balochistan National Movement
* Communist Party of Pakistan
* Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party
* Federal National Movement
* Green Party of Pakistan
* Jamhoori Wattan Party
* Jamiat Ahlehadith Pakistan
* Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mehaz
* Khaksar Tehrik
* Millat Party
* National People's Party (NPP)
* Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party
* Pakistan Awami Tehrik
* Pakistan Democratic Party
* Pakistan Muslim League (F) (also known as Functional Muslim League or PML Pagaro Group)
* Pakistan People's Party (S)
* Hizb ut-Tahrir
* Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan
* Pakistan Progressive Party
* Pasban (Voice Against Injustice) (Altaf Shakoor)
* Sindh Democratic Alliance
* Sindh National Front
* Sindh National Party
* Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party
* Tehrik-e-Istiqlal
* Hazara Qumi Mahaz (HQM)

Parties in Parliament

* Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam), PML (Q) – 117 (led by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain)
* Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, PPPP – 81 (led by Benazir Bhutto)
* Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, MMA – 60 (led by Maulana Fazl ur-Rahman and Qazi Hussain Ahmad)
* Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), PML (N) – 19 (led by Nawaz Sharif)
* Muttahida Qaumi Movement, MQM – 17 (led by Altaf Hussain)
* National Alliance, NA – 16 (led by Imtiaz Sheikh)
* Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) – 5
* Pakistan Muslim League (Junejo) – 3
* Pakistan Peoples Party (Sherpao) – 2
* Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf – 1
* Pakistan Awami Tehrik – 1
* Pakistan Muslim League (Zia) – 1
* Balochistan National Party – 1
* Jamhoori Watan Party – 1
* MQM(H) – 1
* PSPP – 1
* Independent candidates – 15

The Parliament of Pakistan is bicameral, consisting of the National Assembly of Pakistan and the Senate. National Assembly elections were last held on 12 October 2002, and Senate elections were last held in February 2003.

Elections are scheduled to be held on 8 January 2008. See Pakistani general election, 2008.

Composition of Parliament
Senate after February 2003 elections Party Seats
PML 40
MMA 21
Mutahida Quomi Movement 6
BNP-Awami 1
BNP-Mengal 1
Independents 4

National Assembly elections, October 2002 Party Seats
PML 126
MMA 63
PML/N 19
NAP 16
MQM 14
Mahajar Quomi Movement/H 1
Independents 3

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