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Pak Election Commission to hold public hearing on SIC's plea, backed by Imran Khan's party, on allocation of reserved seats

Pak Election Commission to hold public hearing on SIC's plea, backed by Imran Khan's party, on allocation of reserved seats


Pakistan's Election Commission will hold a public hearing on a petition filed by the Sunni Ittehad Council, backed by the party of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking allocation of its share of reserved seats, media reported on Tuesday. Khan's 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidates fought as independents after the party was unable to directly participate in the February 8 elections due to non-allocation of its iconic election symbol – the cricket bat.

To receive PTI's share of seats reserved for women and minorities in national and provincial assemblies, winning independent candidates backed by the party joined the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) – an alliance of Muslim-majority Islamic political and religious parties . country which represents the followers of the Sunni school of Islam.

The Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday decided to hold a public hearing on Tuesday on the SIC's application seeking allocation of reserved seats, Dawn newspaper reported. The decision was taken at a meeting of the top electoral body headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The development came soon after President Dr Arif Alvi rejected a proposal to convene the first session of the newly elected National Assembly on February 29.

Alvi on Monday rejected the summary of the caretaker Parliamentary Affairs Ministry and maintained that all reserved seats would be allocated before the convening of the session in which the newly elected members of the National Assembly will take oath, sources cited by GeoNews. After the denial by Alvi – a close aide of PTI founder Khan and a former senior member of his party – the outgoing Speaker of the National Assembly, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, decided to convene the session of the lower house of Parliament 29 February. a petition filed by the organizer of MQM-P (Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan) against the proposed allocation of seats to the SIC.

PTI-backed independents won majority seats in the National Assembly in the February 8 general elections.

However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government, which could effectively end to Khan's chances of returning to power.

Khan's party has rejected attempts by the PMLN and PPP to form a coalition government, warning that stripping its public support from “mandate stealers” would lead to the worst political instability.

Independent candidates – a majority supported by the PTI party – won 93 seats in the National Assembly.

The PML-N won 75 seats, while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has 17 seats.

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