20 Feb 2002
By Our Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD, Feb 19: The government is considering a proposal to bar those political parties from fielding candidates in the polls, who could not secure at least 10 per cent votes in the last general elections. Official sources told Dawn that the federal law ministry was preparing the draft of a law to bar the political parties which could not secure 10 per cent votes in the 1997 elections from contesting the polls. An official confirmed that the proposal was under consideration, but added that it was at an early stage. "Yes a proposal is under consideration and we are working out whether performance in the National Assembly or the provincial assembly elections should be the basis for the restriction," the official said. Another official concerned said the proposal was not workable and it would create a situation in which the government would have to retreat.
If the ban is imposed on the basis of performance of a political party in the National Assembly elections, only PPP and PML will remain in the field. The Muttaheda Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Tehrik Insaf, PPP (Shaheed Bhutto), Awami National Party, PML (Chatha), Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamhoori Watan Party will be out of contest.
If the ban is imposed on the basis of the performance in the provincial assembly elections, then in Punjab, PPP and PML would be in the field. In Sindh, MQM, PML and PPP would be in a position to contest the elections. In the NWFP, ANP, PPP and PML would be able to contest the elections. In Balochistan, Balochistan National Party, Balochistan National Movement, and PML would be in position to contest the elections. The PPP and JWP could not muster 10 per cent of the total votes in the province in 1997.
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