The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has deployed coordinators in more than 250 constituencies across the country to observe all aspects of the election process. These observers send weekly reports to the FAFEN Secretariat based in Islamabad, which uses the information to raise the issues with various stakeholders with a view to improving the quality of electoral processes.
This report is based on the information sent by FAFEN observers in 138 constituencies of the following districts:
|Sr. No.||Province||Number of Districts||Name of Districts|
|Chakwal, Khushab, Kasur, Jhang, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Okara, Pak Pattan, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Attock, Rawalpindi, Khanewal, Lahore, Jhelum and Mianwali|
|Buner, Charsadda, Mardan, Kohat, Peshawar, Bannu, Haripur, Abbottabad, Swabi, Hangu, Karak, Malakand, Mansehra, Nowshera and Tank|
|Dadu, Khairpur, Sukkur, Naushehro Feroze, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Hyderabad, Tharparkar, Karachi West, Karachi South, Karachi East, Karachi Central, Malir, Umerkot, Matiari, Nawabshah, Tando Allah Yar, Tando Mohammad Khan and Thatha|
|Pishin, Jaffarabad, Bolan, Nasirabad and Naushki|
1. Most Political Parties Prefer Landlords as their Candidates
FAFEN observers have reported that the three mainstream political parties namely: PML-N, PPP and PML- Q – as well as the Sindh-based PML-F have predominantly awarded party tickets to landlords. Except for MQM and to some extent JI all other political parties have ignored the working class people in awarding party tickets to contest in the upcoming election. JUI-F has shown a preference to religious leaders in awarding party tickets whereas two NWFP-based parties ANP and PPP-S, have mostly awarded tickets to businessmen.
Out of 112 constituencies PML-Q fielded 52 candidates who are landlords whereas PPP has also fielded 52 landlords as candidates out of 114 constituencies. PML-N has given tickets to landlords in 39 constituencies out of 96 and PML-F has fielded 13 landlords as its candidates in 20 constituencies.
JI has given tickets to landlords in seven constituencies of 54 and JUI-F to four in 42 constituencies. MQM has given tickets to landlords in eight constituencies out of 40, ANP has fielded landlords in four of 23 constituencies and PPP-S has also awarded tickets to landlords in four of 17 constituencies.
ANP and PPP-S have both given tickets to businessmen in eight constituencies each, from a total of 23 and 17 constituencies respectively. Out of 96 constituencies the PML-N has fielded businessmen as candidates in 24 constituencies whereas PPP has awarded tickets to businessmen in 26 of 114 constituencies. The number of ticket-awarded candidates who are businessmen in PML-Q is 33 of 112 constituencies. JI has fielded businessmen as candidates in 11 and JUI-F in seven constituencies of a 54 and 42 constituencies respectively. Out of 40 constituencies MQM has fielded six businessmen and the PML-F has awarded tickets to businessmen in three constituencies out of 20.
1.3. Working Class
MQM has given tickets to working class people in 23 of 40 constituencies and JI has fielded candidates belonging to the working class in 15 of 54 constituencies. JUI-F has given tickets to candidates belonging to working class in 11 of 42 constituencies. ANP awarded tickets to working class people in seven of 23 constituencies while PML-F has given tickets to candidates belonging to the working class in two of 20 constituencies. PML-N has 22, PPP 24 and PML-Q 14 candidates who belong to the working class.
1.4. Religious Leaders
JUI-F and JI two religio-political parties have given tickets to a number of religious leaders for contesting the January 2008 election. Data received shows that JUI-F has fielded 20 religious leaders as candidates in 42 constituencies and JI has awarded tickets to religious leaders in 15 of 54 constituencies. PML-N has given party tickets to religious leaders in one in 96 constituencies, PPP two in 114 constituencies and PPP-S to one in 17 constituencies.
2. Office-Bearers as Candidates
The data received from various constituencies shows that all mainstream, national and religious political parties gave preference to their respective office-bearers in awarding party tickets.
Out of 95 constituencies, PML-N has awarded tickets to its office-bearers in 69 constituencies. Similarly, out of 118 constituencies, PPP has awarded tickets to its office-bearers in 81 constituencies. PML-Q has awarded tickets to its office-bearers in 67 of 111 constituencies. JI has fielded its office-bearers as candidates in 49 out of 64 constituencies, whereas JUI-F has fielded its office-bearers as candidates in 44 of 51 constituencies.
MQM has also given preference to its office-bearers in awarding party tickets as shown in the data. Out of 44 constituencies, the party has given tickets to its office-bearers in 36 constituencies. ANP and the PPP-S also followed suite. ANP has given tickets to its office-bearers in 16 out of 24, and the PPP-S in 11 out of 19 constituencies. The PML-F candidates in 17 out of 24 constituencies are also party officebearers. The only deviation from this general trend of awarding party tickets to office bearers has been found in the cases of JWP, BNM and BNP. All three are Balochistan-based nationalist parties and each of them has awarded a ticket to one office-bearer in four constituencies each.
3. Changing Loyalties
Data shows that PML-N awarded tickets to 12 candidates out of 82 to those who were previously associated with other parties. PPP fielded 11 candidates in 100 constituencies who applied for their party tickets after changing their loyalties. PML-Q gave tickets to 39 such candidates out of 102. PML-F awarded tickets to candidates in five of 19 constituencies who had changed their loyalties. In 39 constituencies there is one JUI-F candidate who has changed loyalty. There are three candidates each in MQM and PPP-S, in 34 and 17 constituencies respectively, who were previously associated with other political parties. There is one ANP candidate in 24 constituencies who was previously a member of another party.
4. Experience of Candidates
Data collected reveals that all political parties preferred to give tickets to candidates who had been members of the parliament, provincial assemblies or local bodies. From a total of 74 constituencies, PML-N has awarded tickets to 36 former members of the assemblies including one former senator, 24 former MNAs and 11 ex-MPAs. Besides this PML-N has also given tickets to eight candidates, who have been elected representatives in the LBs. Out of 100 constituencies PPP has awarded tickets to 59 former members of the assemblies, including 45 ex-MNAs and 14 former MPAs, whereas it has fielded eight LB representatives for the upcoming election. PML-Q has also awarded most of the party tickets to former members of the Senate and assemblies. According to FAFEN data PML-Q has given tickets to one former senator, 62 ex-MNAs and 11 ex-MPAs in 101 constituencies. PML-Q has also given tickets to seven former members of the elected local bodies.
Out of 54 constituencies, JI has fielded 18 former members of the Senate and the assemblies (one ex- senator and 17 former MNAs) whereas the party has given tickets to six candidates who have been members of the local councils. JUI-F has once again given tickets to 10 former MNAs and four ex-MPAs in 41 constituencies. In 33 constituencies MQM has awarded tickets to one ex-senator and seven former MNAs besides four ex-embers of the LBs. ANP has fielded one ex-senator, eight former MNAs and one ex-MPA in 23 constituencies where the party has also given tickets to four former members of the LBs. Similarly, in 28 constituencies PPP-S has fielded seven former MNAs and one ex-MPA besides five ex- members of the LBs, including one district and one Tehsil Nazim. PML-F has also given tickets to six ex- MNAs and three former MPAs besides four former LBs’ members.
5. Consultation with District Chapter
FAFEN observers reported that all political parties held consultative meetings with office-bearers and members of their respective district chapters in most of the constituencies before awarding tickets to their candidates.
PML-N consulted the district chapters before awarding tickets to candidates in 90 of 116 constituencies observed throughout the country. However, PML-N leadership did not take local leadership into confidence before awarding party tickets to candidates in 26 constituencies of Faisalabad, Okara, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan and Mianwali in Punjab; Kohat in NWFP; Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Karachi West, Matiari and Tando Mohammad Khan in Sindh; and Pishin, Bolan, Nasirabad and Naushki in Balochistan Province.
PPP awarded tickets to candidates after consulting with local chapters in 111 of 138 constituencies covered by this report. The PPP leadership, however, did not consult its district chapters in 27 constituencies of Faisalabad, Okara, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Khanewal and Mianwali in Punjab; Kohat and Peshawar in NWFP; Sukkur, Matiari, Nawabshah and Tando Mohammad Khan in Sindh; and Pishin as well as Bolan in Balochistan Province.
FAFEN observers reported that PML-Q leadership consulted with 88 district chapters before awarding tickets to candidates. They did not consult with local chapters in 40 constituencies of Faisalabad, Okara, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Rawalpindi, Khanewal and Mianwali in Punjab; Charsadda, and Peshawar in NWFP; Sukkur, Karachi West, Karachi South, Karachi East, Karachi Central and Tando Mohammad Khan in Sindh; and Pishin, Bolan, Nasirabad and Naushki of the Balochistan Province.
Out of 89 constituencies, the JI leadership consulted district chapters in 72 constituencies before awarding tickets to its candidates. It did not hold these consultations in Okara, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Khanewal and Lahore of the Punjab Province; Kohat and Peshawar in the NWFP; and Mirpurkhas, Karachi East and Karachi Central in Sindh.
JUI-F leadership held consultations with party’s district chapters in 52 out of 69 constituencies before awarding party tickets to candidates. The 17 district chapters with which the party did not consult are Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Khanewal and Lahore of Punjab; Kohat, Peshawar and Malakand of NWFP; and Mirpurkhas, Karachi East, Tando Mohammad Khan and Thatha of Sindh Province.
MQM held discussions with district chapters of the party before allotting party tickets to candidates in 43 of 58 constituencies. The party did not hold any consultation with party district chapters before finalizing candidates in 15 constituencies; namely: Okara, Bahawalnagar, Multan and Lahore in Punjab; Peshawar and Karak in NWFP; and Dadu, Karachi West, Karachi South and Karachi East in Sindh.
ANP consulted with district chapters of 27 constituencies of 36 constituencies before allotting tickets to of the party. ANP did not consult the local party chapters in nine constituencies in Khanewal and Lahore in Punjab; Charsadda, Kohat and Peshawar in NWFP; and Karachi West, Karachi East and Karachi Central in Sindh.
The PPP-S consulted with local chapters of the party in 26 constituencies, out of 38 before allotting party tickets to candidates. PPP-S did not consult district chapters in 12 constituencies of Khanewal and Lahore in Punjab; Buner, Charsadda and Mardan in the NWFP; and Karachi West, Karachi East, Karachi Central, Malir and Tando Mohammad Khan in Sindh.
JWP consulted with the party district chapters in four of 12 constituencies. The party consulted with local leadership in Peshawar (NWFP), Karachi West (Sindh), Pishin and Naushki (Balochistan), whereas JWP did not consult with the local chapters in eight constituencies of Khanewal and Lahore (Punjab), Karachi West, Karachi Central and Malir (Sindh) and Bolan (Balochistan).
Consultations in 22 of 32 constituencies in local chapters were held by the PML-F. The 10 constituencies where the PML-F did not consult with its district chapters are: Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal and Lahore of the Punjab province; Karachi West, Karachi East, Karachi Central, Malir and Tando Mohammad Khan of Sindh; and Nasirabad of the Balochistan province.
6. Candidates’ Finalization Process
The data sent by FAFEN observers’ shows that a majority of the candidates of almost all the political parties have been finalized by the provincial leaderships. From a total of 105 constituencies, candidates in 74 constituencies have been finalized by the provincial leadership of PML-N. The party’s central leadership has approved tickets for candidates only in 21 constituencies whereas in nine constituencies, the PML-N candidates have been cleared by the party’s parliamentary board.
The provincial leadership of PPP finalized candidates in 95 constituencies, whereas candidates in 22 constituencies have been finalized by the central leadership. In 10 constituencies, PPP candidates have been allocated tickets on the recommendations of the party’s parliamentary board.
PML-Q candidates in 86 constituencies were finalized by the provincial leadership and 23 by the central leadership. Similarly, the provincial leadership of the JI has finalized candidates in 51 constituencies, whereas candidates in 16 constituencies have been approved by the central leadership.
JUI-F candidates in 35 constituencies have been finalized by the provincial leadership, 17 by the central leadership and nine by the parliamentary board out of 65 constituencies.
Provincial leadership of MQM finalized candidates in 43 constituencies, out of 53 constituencies. The ANP’s provincial leadership finalized candidates in 19 of 34 constituencies. The party’s central leadership approved tickets for candidates in eight constituencies whereas in seven constituencies, candidates have been finalized by the parliamentary board of the party.
As many as 50 per cent candidates of the PPP-S have also been finalized by the party’s provincial leadership and data shows that out of 36 constituencies, the provincial leadership of the PPP-S finalized candidates in 18 of them. Three PPP-S candidates have been approved by the party’s parliamentary board and 14 by the central leadership.
However, the strategy of JWP in finalization of the candidates seems to be different from other parties. Since out of nine candidates, one has been finalized by the provincial leadership while six JWP candidates have been finalized by the central leadership and two by the parliamentary board.
About FAFEN: The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) is a coalition of thirty leading Pakistani civil society organizations. It was established in 2006 to observe the election process, educate voters, and advocate for electoral and democratic reform.
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