Aurat Foundation claims PPP, PML-N, JUI-F, ANP failed to field 5pc women nominees on general seats


ISLAMABAD: As it is mandatory for every political party to field at least 5pc women candidates on general seats in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies, Aurat Foundation has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take legal action against political parties which have violated this clause.

The parties which have been identified include Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Awami National Party (ANP), Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Balochistan National Party (BNP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) name is not mentioned as the party has been deprived of the symbol.

PPP leader Farhatullah Babar categorically denied the allegation, claiming that the PPP fielded more than 5pc of female candidates on general seats. He said even in the 2018 elections, PPP fielded over 5pc candidates. “I doubt that other parties have violated the condition of the ECP as every party has to submit a certificate in the ECP that it has fielded more than 5pc women candidates,” he said.

“A majority of the political parties, in order to meet the condition of the ECP, field women candidates on seats on which they cannot win. PPP is the only party which has several female candidates who can win the general seats on their own. They include Nafisa Shah, Azra Fazal Pechuho, Shazia Marri, Faryal Talpur and others. Even Fahmida Mirza used to win on a general seat when she was in PPP,” he said.

political parties are not aware of this obligation for two reasons: firstly, that all parties submit an affidavit to ECP that they have allotted 5pc tickets to women and; secondly, because most of the mainstream parties…fulfilled this requirement in General Election 2018,” the letter stated.

“We request the Election Commission of Pakistan to take notice of this violation…because the 5pc restriction is already a low ceiling, and if parties continue to show disregard to women in providing them opportunities to enter the mainstream, it would mean denying half the population of their due fundamental rights under the Constitution of Pakistan,” it stated.

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