Election Watch Update - Mar 25

View a full list of the legislators elected to the National Assembly and the runners up in the 2008 elections who have defected from their original parties.

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The Awami National Party has launched its election manifesto. The manifesto lays down a number of concrete steps for how the party would improve the state of education and health in the province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and promises reforms in the colonial era Frontier Crimes Regulation in place in the tribal areas, and calls for improving trade and relationships with Afghanistan. The ANP also calls for allowing all citizens to hold public office, including president and prime minister [The Constitution says the president must be a Muslim] as well as for the civil and military bureaucracy to have no interference in politics. The manifesto is available here.

Baloch National Party-Mengal leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal is facing pressure from Baloch nationalist groups to boycott the elections.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman) announced its candidates for MNA seats in Balochistan, while the PPP has announced several provincial assembly candidates for Punjab. The ANP announced candidates for National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly seats. Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan will run from NA-7 Charsadda-I and Ghulam Ahmed Bilour will contest NA-I Peshawar I. The late Bashir Ahmed Bilour’s sons Haroon and Ghafoor Bilour will contest PK-III Peshawar-III and PK-VII Peshawar-VII respectively. Political parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are concerned about how they will campaign given the recent spate of militant attacks in the province.

The ECP says it has not been informed of legislation passed by the outgoing National Assembly exempting candidates from appearing in person to file nomination papers.

Negotiations between the PPP and the PML-Q don’t appear to be kickstarting, given that the PML-Q has given out party tickets for a considerable number of National Assembly seats in Punjab. The PPP is reportedly upset that PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi will be contesting elections against the PPP's Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar in Gujrat. The PML-Q is losing its candidates in the Faisalabad district. 

The MQM has filed an application in the Sindh High Court against redrawing constituencies in Karachi.

Nawaz Sharif will address a rally in Mansehra today. PML-N leaders have been interviewing potential candidates for the elections.

Party workers of the PPP and the PML-N in Rawalpindi are still confused about filing nomination papers because seat adjustments by their parties haven't been finalized yet. Filling out the comprehensive nomination papers is also a challenge for some.