Sunni Ittehad is not being given reserved seats

The Election Commission of Pakistan has decided not to allocate reserved seats in Parliament to the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), a party supported by Imran Khan.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the party of the country’s jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan, was not allotted its symbol ‘bat’ in Pakistan’s last national elections. Even the nomination papers of several senior leaders of the party, including Imran, were canceled due to various reasons in this election held on February 8. As a result, they could not participate in the vote.

As the PTI leaders did not get a party symbol, they contested the polls as independent candidates, and by turning all accounts, they won a maximum of 90 seats in Parliament as independent candidates. But as per the laws of Pakistan, since they are independent and independent candidates do not get allotted seats in Parliament, they join SIC and apply to the Election Commission of Pakistan for their allotted reserved seats.

As no party secured a single majority in the polls, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in second place and the PPP in third place formed a total eight-party coalition government with six other parties. PML-N Chief Shahbaz Sharif became Prime Minister. He was sworn in on Monday.

The Parliament of Pakistan has 70 seats reserved. Among them, 60 are women, and the remaining 10 are tribals. Allotment of reserved seats has been sought not only in the National Assembly but also in the four provincial legislatures of the SIC. On February 8, local government elections were held in those four provinces.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has said that it will announce the decision regarding the seats in the provincial legislature next Wednesday.

However, the decision regarding the National Assembly was made on Monday, according to Pakistan’s daily Dawn. It said, “The SIC is not entitled to claim quota for reserved seats due to irretrievable error of law and violation of provisions mandating submission of party lists for reserved seats as required by law.”

In that case, the Election Commission has also answered the question of what will happen to the reserved seats claimed by the SIC. It said, “No seats in the National Assembly shall remain vacant, and they shall be allocated through the proportional representation process based on the seats won by the political parties.