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Pakistan Election Commission’s Decision on Reserved Seats Culminates into the Most Rigged Elections in the History of Pakistan

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Editorial

The Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to reject a petition by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) for reserved seats sparked criticism from lawyers and activists. The SIC, seen as the new home for PTI-backed independent candidates after their party’s symbol was disqualified, argued they were entitled to a share of seats reserved for women and minorities.

The ECP, in a 4-1 verdict, ruled against the SIC due to “non-curable legal defects” and violation of a requirement to submit a party list for reserved seats beforehand. This decision sparked outrage, with many calling it unjust and unconstitutional. Lawyers, political activists, and the Republic Policy Organization slammed the decision as lacking legal basis and violating the Constitution. They argued that reserved seats are a right based on the number of general seats won, and independent candidates joining a party qualify for inclusion. The reserved seats must also represent the people’s will through indirect representation. 

Many political observers felt the ECP used technicalities to deny a legitimate right. Shireen Mazari, a former human rights minister, saw this as a continuation of the ECP’s violation of the people’s mandate and the Constitution. Furthermore, many democrats condemned the decision as violating fundamental rights and democratic principles. They questioned how the law could supersede constitutional rights and called the ECP’s act of allocating these seats to other parties “absurd.” Republic Policy viewed this as a blow to the democratic order, highlighting the importance of due representation despite procedural issues.

The ECP’s decision faces strong criticism for being unfair, unconstitutional, and potentially politically motivated. Critics argue it undermines democratic principles and denies legitimate representation to a significant group. It further goes on to show the biased approach of the Election Commission of Pakistan ECP towards PTI, but most importantly, the decision negates the will and representation of the people. 

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