Political parties asked to ensure ‘mandatory’ women representation in Feb 8 general elections

0
154
Political parties asked to ensure ‘mandatory' women representation in Feb 8 general elections

ISLAMABAD: Ahead of the sought-after February 8 elections, political parties have been directed to ensure “mandatory” 5 per cent representation of women candidates on general seats.

In an order issued on Sunday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) asked all political parties concerned to comply with Section 206 of the Elections Act, 2017, to ensure mandatory 5% representation of women candidates on general seats after the allocation of election symbols.

The electoral watchdog also ordered the political parties to submit the list of male and female candidates for general seats within five days.

Copy of the election commission’s order in which political parties with election symbols are called upon to submit lists of male and female candidates. — ECP
Copy of the election commission’s order in which political parties with election symbols are called upon to submit lists of male and female candidates. — ECP
The top electoral body had a hectic day yesterday to conclude the crucial phase of allotment of electoral symbols to the registered political parties.

The institution was forced to extend its deadline for symbols’ allocation multiple times due to the pending verdict of the Supreme Court hearing embattled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) desperately seeking to get back its iconic ‘bat’ sign.

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 its unanimous verdict after a day-long hearing.

The top court declared the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) January 10 order “null and void”, depriving the former ruling party of its ‘iconic’ electoral symbol — bat — just days ahead of the general elections.

The electoral symbol is crucial to any political party as voters are aware of which candidate to vote for on polling day; however, since the PTI does not have a unified symbol now, it might lose votes due to confusion among the people.

Following the verdict, the electoral watchdog concluded its symbols’ allocation process late Saturday night to advance to the next phases of the forthcoming polls.

As per schedule, the upcoming phase would further clear the air about their final candidates going to join the decisive electoral battle.

The general elections are set for the 8th of the next month.