KARACHI: There will be two more minority and women MPAs each in the Sindh Assembly compared to the last provincial assembly as they have been elected on general seats other than the nine reserved seats for non-Muslims and 29 reserved seats for women in the House.
It’s the first time since the 2002 Legal Framework Order when two non-Muslims – Hari Ram from Mirpurkhas and Giano Mal from Jamshoro – have secured general seats of the Sindh Assembly. They both have been elected on the tickets of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The two women who have been elected to the legislature on general seats are both sisters of the PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari – Faryal Talpur and Azra Pechuho. Talpur won from a PS seat in Larkana while Pechuho was elected from Shaheed Benazirabad.
Reserved seats for women
For the 29 reserved seats, proportion of political parties on 130 general seats will be the deciding factor. If a particular party has nine MPAs, it would be able to clinch two reserved seats for women, making a ratio of 4.5 general seats for one reserved seat for women.
Reserved seats for women and minorities are distributed among political parties on proportional basis according to their number of general seats in the assembly. The parties have to submit priority-wise lists of their women and minorities candidates to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Since the PPP has secured the greatest number of general seats, it is expected to have at least 17 women MPAs on reserved seats.
Interestingly, the first two names on the PPP’s priority list for women seats are of Talpur and Pechuho who have already been elected on general seats. Therefore, the list practically starts from the name on the third priority.
The PPP’s list for women’s reserved seats comprises past MPAs as well as new faces, including Syeda Shehla Raza, Shaheena, Rehana Leghari, Hina Dastagir, Sadia Javed, Nida Khuhro, Shazia Umar, Ghazala Siyal, Shamim Mumtaz Wasi, Farhat Seemi Soomro, Tanzila Umme Habiba, Dr Sjeela Leghari, Shehnaz Ansari, Syeda Marvi, Heer Soho, Kulsoom Chandio, Parveen Basheer Qaimkhani and Sharmila Farooqi.
Nida is the daughter of PPP leader Nisar Khuhro who contested from her father’s constituency in Larkana. She was defeated by a Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) candidate. However, she will still be an MPA on one of the reserved seats.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which has emerged as the runner-up in the Sindh Assembly with 23 general seats, is expected to have at least 5 MPAs on reserved seats for women. The PTI had included names of 15 women in its priority list in which top five names are of Sidrah Imran, Dr Seema Zia, Rabia Azfar, Dua Bhutto and Adeeba Arif.
With 17 general seats, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is set to grab four MPAs on reserved seats for women. As per the MQM’s list of women candidates, Mangla Sharma, Rana Ansar, Shahana Ansar and Rabia Majid are likely to be its lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly.
The GDA is likely to clinch two reserved seats for women with its 11 general seats. The first two names in the GDA’s list are of Saira Bano and Lubna Kaukab.
The Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan won two PS seats in the general elections, while the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal could only grab a single seat. The two parties are unlikely to have their women MPAs on reserved seats. However, their support to other parties may add or subtract share of other parties on the reserved seats for women.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s website, results of six constituencies of the provincial assembly are still pending. The six results may also shift one or two women MPAs from one party’s share to other party.
For every 14 MPAs a political party has on general seats, it will be able to have one MPA on reserved seats for minorities.
Out of the nine reserved seats for non-Muslims in the Sindh Assembly, five to six will go to the PPP and one or two to the PTI. The MQM-P and GDA will have one MPA on minorities’ seats each.
Out of its nine nominees, PPP’s Rana Hameer Singh, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Lal Chand Ukrani, Anthony Naveed, Sadhumal Surendar Valasai and Ponjo Mal Bheel are likely to become MPAs. The PTI may have Dr Sanjay Ghangwani and Dewan Sachal as its MPAs.
Nand Kumar will be the GDA’s MPA on its reserved seat for non-Muslims, whereas, Sanjay Perwani will be the MQM-P’s MPA.