As political parties have started gearing up for the upcoming General Election 2018, and hopefully this momentum will gain pace after Eid-ul-Fitr, an interesting finding has surfaced.
Out of the 117 registered political parties, 55 will contest general elections for the very first time. These parties have mostly emerged from the disgruntled elements of the known political parties.
According to the ElectionPakistan.com, out 117 political parties, there are 55 political parties which never contested in the past elections with newly registered names.
These parties include:
Aam Admi Tehreek Pakistan, Aam Awam Party, Aam Loeg Ittehad, Aam Log Party Pakistan, All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, All Pakistan Minority Movement, All Pakistan Muslim League – Jinnah, All Pakistan Tehreek, Amun Taraqqi Party, Awam League, Barabri Party Pakistan, Humdardan-e-Watan Pakistan, Masih Awami Party, Mutihida League, Muttahidda Ulema-e-Mashaikh Council of Pakistan, National Peace Council Party, Pak Sarzameen Party, Pakistan Aman Tehreek, Pakistan Awami Raj, Pakistan Barabri Party, Pakistan Falahi Tehreek, Pakistan Freedom Movement, Pakistan Human Party, Pakistan Islamic Republican Party, Pakistan Justice & Democratic Party, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (Ch. Anwar), Pakistan Masiha Party, Pakistan Muslim Alliance, Pakistan People’s Party Workers, Pakistan Supreme Democratic Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Ijtihad, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Nazriati, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaniat, Pakistan Welfare Party, Pakistan Yaqeen Party, Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, Peoples Movement of Pakistan, Roshan Pakistan League, Tabdeeli Pasand Party, Tehreek Ahle-e-Sunnat Pakistan, Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Difa-e-Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Ehsas-e-Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Islam, Islami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan, Ittehad-e-Ummat Pakistan, Pakistan Awami League, Pakistan Quami Yakjehti Party, Awami Party Pakistan-S, Balochistan Awami Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Gulalai, Move on Pakistan, Saraikistan Democratic Party, Pakistan Muslim League Organization and Pakistan Awami Inqelabi League.
It is to be noted that Muttahidda Majlis Amal (MMA) is yet to be included in the ECP’s registered political parties list. Whereas Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party has been renamed as Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party.
According to the ECP, as many as 250 Political Parties had submitted their requisite documents for registration before the general election 2018. The ECP has allocated 148 election symbols to political parties among them only 125 political parties appeared in final contestation.
There are chances that some of the registered political parties might not contest with their registered name but would contest as an alliance with some other political party. The Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians will contest the election with any of the names and will use the election symbol accordingly.
In 2013’s general elections, around 58% (72) of the political parties contested in any general election for the first time whereas in 2018 general elections only 47% (55) political parties are new.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has made clear to all registered political parties that only those that ensure 5% tickets for their female candidates under the new Elections Act 2017 will be allowed to contest the elections. The process of the registration and allocation of symbols to political parties is still open.