ECP rejects SIC plea for reserved seats


ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday dismissed a petition submitted by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) requesting the allocation of reserved seats.

Following their electoral victory without their designated symbol, PTI-supported lawmakers joined forces with the SIC. The council subsequently approached the ECP, seeking reserved seats in the national and three provincial assemblies, with the exception of Balochistan.

After considering arguments from all parties involved, the commission postponed its decision until Wednesday, just a day prior to the inaugural session of the National Assembly, prolonging the unresolved issue.

The electoral commission declared a split decision, with a 4-1 majority, as ECP Punjab member Hassan Bharwana dissented from the majority ruling.

The ECP had reserved its decision on petitions filed by the SIC, which sought the allocation of women and minority seats following the incorporation of winning PTI-backed candidates after the February 8 elections.

Chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, a five-member bench heard the case and postponed the verdict until February 28.

The PTI-backed independent candidates took the lead in the February 8 elections after they won the 92 National Assembly seats, followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), 79, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 54 seats.

The reserved seats were awarded to all political parties as per their strength in the assemblies, except the PTI-backed SIC.

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