Ahead of the general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has directed political parties to ensure “mandatory” 5 per cent representation of women candidates on general seats, Pakistan-based Geo News reported.
In an order issued on January 14, the ECP directed all political parties concerned to comply with Section 206 of the Elections Act, 2017, to ensure a mandatory 5 per cent representation of women candidates on general seats after the allocation of election symbols.
The ECP also directed the political parties to submit a list of male and female candidates for general seats within five days. The electoral watchdog on January 14 concluded the crucial phase of allotment of electoral symbols to registered political parties, Geo News reported.
The institution was forced to extend its deadline for symbols’ allocation multiple times due to the pending verdict of the Supreme Court hearing as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) tried to get back its electoral symbol.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali announced their unanimous verdict.
The apex court declared the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) January 10 order “null and void”, depriving PTI of its electoral symbol ‘bat’ just days before the general elections set to be held on February 8, Geo News reported.
It is pertinent to note here that an electoral symbol is important for any political party as voters are aware of which candidate to vote for on election day. However, PTI does not have a unified symbol now, which might result in the party losing votes due to confusion among the people, according to Geo News report.
After the verdict, the ECP announced that it had completed the symbols’ allocation process to advance to the next phases of the upcoming elections. According to the schedule, the upcoming phase will further clear the air about the final candidates who will participate in the electoral contest.
As Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) stands deprived of its iconic ‘bat’ symbol after the Peshawar High Court order, the party candidates are being allotted other symbols by the Election Commission of Pakistan, ARY News reported
Following the Supreme Court verdict, PTI chairman Barrister Gohar said that all party candidates would contest elections independently. Khan, who has been deprived of his post of PTI chairman after the apex court judgement, was allotted “teapot” as election symbol while Shaukat Yousafzai’s symbol has been “racket”, ARY News reported.
PTI’s Shahryar Afridi will contest the election with the “bottle” symbol, and Shandana Gulzar has been given the symbol “bowl”. On the other hand, PTI senior leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s children Mehr Bano Qureshi and Zain Hussain Qureshi have been allotted electoral symbols chimta (tongs) for NA-151 and shoe for NA-150 constituencies of Multan, respectively.
Umair Niazi will fight the election with the symbol ‘door’ on Mianwali’s NA-90 seat. Shoaib Shaheen has been given a ‘shoe’ to contest elections in Islamabad’s NA-46 constituency, according to ARY News. Shandana Gulzar will fight the elections with ‘Piyala’ (bowl) in NA-30 constituency of Peshawar and ‘kettle’ will represent Barrister Gohar Ali Khan in NA-10 constituency of Buner.
According to the returning officer, in NA-177, PTI’s Maqsood Khan Jatoi has been allotted the symbol of a ‘hookah’, and in NA-178, PTI’s Daud Khan Jatoi has been given the symbol of a keychain, ARY News reported.
PTI’s Shairam Tarkai from PA-20 and Rangzeb Khan from PK-49 have been given the symbol of a dove. PTI’s Aqibullah Khan will fight with the peacock symbol in PK-50, while Abdul Karim has been allotted the symbol of a kettle in PK-51.
(with inputs from ANI)