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Business News/ Elections / Pakistan 12th general elections: How polls are conducted; major parties in fray
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Pakistan 12th general elections: How polls are conducted; major parties in fray

Major political parties in the fray include Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), PTI affiliates, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), and Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P).

Paramilitary soldiers stand guard on the side of a road for security, ahead of Feb. 8 general elections, in Karachi, Pakistan (AP)Premium
Paramilitary soldiers stand guard on the side of a road for security, ahead of Feb. 8 general elections, in Karachi, Pakistan (AP)

Pakistan Elections: As Pakistan heads for yet another crucial general Assembly elections, a bombing at an independent candidate's election office on Wednesday killed 10 people in southwest Pakistan the day before elections. Pakistan is scheduled to go into polls on 8 February 2024.

Pakistan, a nation of nearly 250 million people, will vote to elect a national government and members of the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

Notably, these are Pakistan’s 12th general elections — and the country’s latest attempt to deepen democratic roots. Pakistan’s powerful military establishment has ruled directly for more than three decades of the country’s journey as an independent nation since 1947.

It should be noted that no elected government in Pakistan’s political history has been able to complete its term.

Pakistan Elections: Major political parties in the fray

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN)- Headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, PMLN , which came to power for the third time in 2013 with a clear majority, will look to cinch another victory in tomorrow's general polls.

PTI affiliates- The PTI, founded by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and currently led by Gohar Ali, has faced brunt of the law as well as a volley of desertions after Khan was arrested.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)- The centre-left Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by slain leader Benazir Bhutto's son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father, Asif Ali Zardari, is striving to return to power for the first time since 2008.

Awami National Party (ANP)- The Awami National Party, an ethnic Pashtun nationalist party based mainly in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, seeks to replace the PTI in the provincial government there.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P)- The Muttahida Qaumi Movement was the most powerful political force in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and economic backbone, for nearly three decades.

Other important political parties include Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI-F), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Awami Workers Party (AWP). 

Pakistan Elections: How voting works

In Pakistan General Assembly, there are 266 contestable seats. Apart from that ten seats are reserved for minority representation, and 60 more are reserved for women. The Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s parliament, has 100 seats.

In addition to electing the National Assembly, the assemblies of the four provinces – Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh – will elect representatives, who will in turn vote in a chief minister.

Proportionate to Punjab’s representation in the National Assembly, it also has the largest legislature with 371 seats. Sindh’s assembly has 168 seats, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 124 seats and Balochistan with 65.

The voting process is scheduled to begin at 8am and will continue, without a break, till 5pm.

 

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 02:23 PM IST
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