Elections in Pakistan


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 is elected by the Electoral college, 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.

The country 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.

Latest elections

2008 Presidential election

* Asif Ali Zardari - 481 votes
* Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui - 153 votes
* Mushahid Hussain Syed - 44 votes

2008 General elections

This election led to strong showings for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N), who signed the Bhurban Accord in response to the election results.

2007 Presidential election

*Pervez Musharraf: 671 votes
*Wajihuddin Ahmed: 8 votes
*Invalid: 6 votes

Past elections

1947-1958

Between 1947 and 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" ["Report of the Electoral Reforms Commission", Government of Pakistan, 1956]

The first direct elections held in the country after independence were for the provincial Assembly of the Punjab between 10-20 March 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 8 December 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. [ [http://www.hrcpelectoralwatch.org/his_persp.cfm| Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Election] ]

1988-1997

N.B: All elections were contested under a separate electorate system, the 1990 elections had allegations of vote-rigging confirmed by foreign observers. [ For more information, see "How an election was stolen" The Pakistan Democratic Alliance White paper on the Pakistan elections held in 1990. It was published by the weekly 'MID Asia', Islamabad, 1991.] The 'MQM' contested the 1988 elections under the name "Haq Parast" group, it boycotted the 1993 National elections. [source Herald Election Guide/October 2002 p38]

References

External links

* [http://www.pakistannewsroom.com/elections Pakistan Elections 2008 Coverage]
* [http://www.ecp.gov.pk Election Commission of Pakistan]
* [http://www.elections.com.pk Pakistan Elections News & Coverage]
* [http://www.pildat.org/MNA PILDAT MNA Directory]
* [http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/p/pakistan/ Adam Carr's Election Archive]
* [http://pakelectionsonline.org Pakistan Elections 2008 online Coverage]
* [http://www.pw.org.pk Parliament Watch Comprehensive Candidate Review]


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