114 political parties yet to qualify for elections

January 12, 2013 - 12:57:43 am

ISLAMABAD: As many as 114 political parties in Pakistan out of total 216, including five mainstream parties, Asif Zardari’s PPP, Shujaat Hussain’s PML-Q, Asfandyar Wali’s ANP, Pir Pagara’s PML-F and Imran Khan’s PTI, may not be able to contest the upcoming general elections, if they failed to hold the intra-party polls prior to the nation-wide electoral exercise.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a reminder on December 28, urging political parties, which could not conduct the intra-party elections to fulfil the legal requirement otherwise they might not be allotted election symbols. However, this has apparently failed to shake them accordingly.

The mainstream political parties have yet to adhere to true democracy within their rank and file, as many key party posts even today are filled by issuing notifications after nominations are made by the influential top leadership of respective parties.

A senior official at the ECP secretariat said yesterday that election symbols would be allotted only to those parties that would fulfil the requirement mentioned in the Political Parties Order 2002. “All political parties, which have not submitted their certificates concerning their intra-party, will not be entitled to get election symbols,” the official maintained.

Article 14 of the Political Parties Order 2002 says a political party shall be eligible to obtain an election symbol to contest the parliament and provincial assemblies, elections on submission of certificates and statements under Articles 12 and 13, which call for submission of related documents.

According to the order any political party or a combination of political parties, collectively, contravenes the provisions of Articles 12 and 13, it shall not be entitled to obtain an symbol for election.

The ECP official explained that the Allocation of Symbols Order 2002 also provided that subject to the fulfilment of the provisions of the Political Parties Order and the rules framed there under, a political party shall make an application to the ECP for allocation of a symbol of its choice within the period specified by the commission.          internews