What options do Imran Khan-nominated candidates have after election victory?

Activists of Tehreek-e-Insaf protest against rigging in general election 2024, outside RO Office in Hyderabad on February 9, 2024. — PPI
Activists of Tehreek-e-Insaf protest against rigging in general election 2024, outside RO Office in Hyderabad on February 9, 2024. — PPI

The 2024 election results have surprised everyone with the Imran Khan-founded party emerging as a key player in the Centre and two provincial assemblies.

According to unofficial results, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-backed candidates have won nearly 100 seats in the National Assembly and 116 in the Punjab Assembly.

However, in Khyber Pakhtnwnka, the party has a two-thirds majority, winning 81 seats out of 113 contested on February 8.

These candidates are technically independent as their party was stripped of its election symbol.

Now these independents are bound to join a party within three days of being notified as a winning candidate under rule 92(6) of the Election Act, 2017.

What options do Imran Khan-nominated candidates have after election victory?

They can also form a group but then they won’t be able to get reserved seats. There are 60 seats reserved for women and 10 for minorities in the house of 342.

The gazette notification of the newly-elected members of the National Assembly has to be issued within 14 days of the polling day. 

After its issuance, before the convening of the first session of the National Assembly, the Election Commission will determine the division of 60 reserved seats for women and 10 reserved seats for minorities among parties.

It is important to note that no independent member is bound by law to join a party.

Another option for them is to form a group under any name they like and if they stay true to their oath and choose to sit on the opposition benches, they can put anyone from the group in the office of the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.

PTI-backed MNAs-elect slated to join a ‘small political party’

Journalist Majid Nizami on Saturday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf- (PTI) supported independent Members of the National Assembly (MNAs), who have been declared winners in their respective constituencies, were likely to join a small political party in the days to come.

Commenting on the post-election political situation, he said that the MNAs-elect could also form a separate block in the assembly or join any political party registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The PTI-affiliated candidates were still busy brainstorming a strategy on future alliances, and thus were yet to finalise any decision, Nizami said.

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