Pakistan, 2018

Pakistan elections were today.

Something to watch is how well new religious parties do. One of them, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, has a campaign poster that features a woman candidate, although you will need a little imagination to see her.

One of the party’s male candidates explains, “The party has nominated a few women… because… it is mandatory under the election law.”

I understand (via experts on Twitter) that there could be many by-elections in the weeks to come. One even spoke of a “wave” of them. Some of these will be mandated by a provision that invalidates any constituency result in which at least 10% of women on the voter roll did not participate. Others will be necessary because candidates can run in multiple constituencies and, if they win more than one, they have to step aside in all but one. Still others will be needed because several candidates (at least 8) have died since nomination; it is not clear to the extent the deaths are natural or due to election violence.

The electoral system is mostly FPTP. The total size of the National Assembly is 342, and 272 of them are from single-seat districts via plurality. Others are reserved for women or ethnic minorities; some form of PR is supposedly used for these, but I do not have the details. Perhaps someone will enlighten us in the comments. This election is the first under a newly delimited constituency map.

Early results put Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, led by Imran Khan, in the lead.


Unless I say so explicitly, mention of parties or candidates on this blog is not an endorsement. That is especially so when I have no clue what a party’s poster appearing with my entry even says!

8 thoughts on “Pakistan, 2018

  1. When PTI first ran back in 1997 – and utterly fell flat, defying early expectations of a strong showing – party leader and founder Imran Khan was married to Jemima Goldsmith, the daughter of Sir James Goldsmith. As it happened, Sir James ran as well in the British general election held shortly afterwards, leading his own Referendum Party, and Jemima campaigned for him as well, with her recently-born first son in tow. The British press coverage (I think it was The Times) noted that she was no stranger to election campaigns, having been involved in the then recently held Pakistani general election on behalf of her husband – who won no seats.

    Subtle, I thought back then. Very subtle. That said, the Referendum Party did no better, since it won no seats either (as widely expected), although it may have contributed to the Conservatives’ crushing defeat in the hands of Labour under the leadership of Tony Blair.

    At any rate, Mr. Khan must be commended for not giving up after his political debut turned into a monumental flop. Just over two decades later, he’s the man of the hour in Pakistan, and one can only hope he’ll provide the modern, forward-looking leadership his country so desperately needs.

      • Star Trek allusion, you say? Well, if Imran Khan turns out to be a dud, or if it’s proven he stole the election as some claim, I think I know exactly how many folks in Pakistan and beyond her borders will react:

        And speaking of science fiction allusions, is that Islamic party fielding the Invisible Woman or what?

      • Furthermore:
        Jerry Goldsmith composed the theme music for just about every Shatner “Star Trek” film *except* “Wrath of Khan”.
        Nicholas Meyer, who wrote/ directed “TWoK”, also made “The Seven Per Cent Solution”, with Sherlock Holmes (and Sigmund Freud).
        Benedict Cumberbatch has played both Khan and Sherlock Holmes.
        (… I’ll show myself out)

    • Article 51(d)

      (d) members to the seats reserved for women which are allocated to a Province under clause (lA) shall be elected in accordance with law through proportional representation system of political parties’ lists of candidates on the basis of total number of general seats secured by each political party from the Province concerned in the National Assembly [:]2

      There is an analogous provision for the non-Muslim members.

      There is a subcontinental tradition of using STV for indirect elections. The senators elected by provincial assemblies are elected by STV. It is possible that the electoral legislation or the rules of procedure of the national assembly provide for STV as the ‘proportional representation system of political parties’ lists of candidates’. Short of consulting an Urdu-speaker, I cannot find an authoritative source.

  2. This document from the 2013 election (scroll to the end) suggests that reserved seats are elected from party lists based upon the share of single-member seats each party has won in each province. I think South Korea had a similar system at one point.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.