Parliamentary Chamber: National Assembly


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  National Assembly

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  10 October 2002

Purpose of elections:

  For the first time since Parliament was dissolved on 12 October 1999 following a coup-d'état, elections were held for all seats in the National Assembly. General elections had previously been held in February 1997.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 11 July 2002, the President and Chief Executive of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, announced that general elections for the National Assembly and four Provincial Assemblies would be held on 10 October 2002 in the first legislative elections since he seized power in a bloodless coup in October 1999.

Contesting the 342 seats in the National Assembly, including the reserved seats for women and minorities, were a total of 1,371 candidates on party lists and some 700 independent candidates.

The elections were held against the background of a constitutional referendum in April 2002 and the legislation banning former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto as well as many of their party candidates from running in the elections. The constitutional referendum had given General Musharraf five more years in power as well as effective control over the new government.

The President had imposed very severe restrictions on political rallies during the electoral campaign. Violence was high during the campaign with at least seven people killed and 50 injured in different areas of the country.

Officials said that turnout at the polling stations, though slow, was an improvement over the 1997 general elections where only some 26 per cent of the registered voters effectively voted. For the 2002 elections, some 41 per cent of the nearly 72 million eligible voters turned out.

The report of the European Union observers described the elections as "seriously flawed", mainly because of the misuse of State resources to fund some parties and also because of the amendments to the Constitution introduced by decree by General Musharraf in August 2002, giving him new and broader powers. Observers from the Commonwealth ruled that the actual vote was credible and democratic, but had misgivings about curbs on parties during the campaign. The national independent Pakistan Human Rights Commission also denounced some "electoral malpractice" and accused the government of manipulating the electoral process.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Qaid-i-Azam (PML/Q), a faction of the former Pakistan Muslim League (PML) which supported General Musharraf's government, obtained the largest share of seats, 77, but fell short of a majority. The Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPP-P) which was deprived of the leadership of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who is in exile, came second with 63 seats. Third place went to the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA - United Council for Action), an alliance of six Islamist parties, which won 45 seats. A faction of the PML, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), which is loyal to the also exiled former Prime Minister Sharif, took 14 seats.

On 19 November 2002, Mr. Chaudhry Amir Hussain from the PML-Q was elected the new Speaker of the National Assembly. Two days later, the National Assembly picked Mr. Mir Zafarullah Jamali (PML-Q) as the country's new civilian Prime Minister.

Round no 1 (10 October 2002): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 70 755 379
Voters 29 572 712 (42 %)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Pakistan Muslim League-Qaid-i-Azam (PML/Q) 7 613 411 25.70
Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) 7 632 708 25.80
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) 3 349 436 11.30
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) 2 790 747 9.40
National Democractic Alliance (NA) 1 363 814 4.60
Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM) 918 555 3.10
Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) 328 137 1.10
Pakistan Muslim League (Junejo) 212 749 0.70
Pakistan People's Party (Sherpao) 98 638 0.30
Pakistan Muslim League (Zia-ul-Huq) 87 394 0.30
Independents n.a. n.a.
Others n.a. n.a.

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Pakistan Muslim League-Qaid-i-Azam (PML/Q) 77
Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) 63
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) 45
Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) 14
National Democractic Alliance (NA) 13
Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM) 13
Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) 4
Pakistan Muslim League (Junejo) 2
Pakistan People's Party (Sherpao) 2
Pakistan Muslim League (Zia-ul-Huq) 1
Independents 29
Others 9

  There are 60 others seats reserved for women and 10 seats for non-Muslim minorities.
Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 268
Women: 74
Percent of women: 21.64

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Copyright © 2002 Inter-Parliamentary Union