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The office of Election commission of Pakistan.—File Photo
The office of Election commission of Pakistan.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: About 120 political parties out of the 193 registered with the Election Commission are yet to qualify to get election symbols for the upcoming general election.

Sources told Dawn on Saturday that only 71 political parties had so far submitted details of their intra-party elections to the commission — a prerequisite for eligibility to obtain election symbol under the Political Parties Order 2002. In some of the cases the details were awaited for the last two to three years.

The parties which are yet to submit details include the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), its ally Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI).

Similarly, 77 political parties have not submitted to the commission consolidated statements of accounts for financial year 2012 — which too is a requirement for eligibility to get an election symbol.

Under Article 12 of the Political Parties Order 2002, the party leader of each political party is bound to submit to the EC, within seven days from completion of the intra-party elections, a certificate under his signature to the effect that the elections were held in accordance with the constitution of the party.

Under Article 13 of the Order, every political party is required to submit to the commission, within 60 days from the close of each financial year, a consolidated statement of accounts of the party audited by a chartered accountant, in such a manner and form as may be specified by the Chief Election Commissioner. The statement must include annual income and expenses, sources of funds and assets and liabilities.

Article 14(2) of the Order provides that the political parties contravening the provisions of Article 12 and 13 shall not be entitled to obtain election symbols.

Under Section 5 of the Allocation of Symbol Order 2002 “subject to fulfilment of the provisions of Political Parties Order, 2002 and the rules framed thereunder, a political party shall make an application to the Election Commission for allocation of a symbol of its choice within the period specified by the Commission”.

A source said the EC would apprise the political parties of the requirement of law for allotment of election symbol, to avoid confusion and chaos in the political parties at the time of allotment of election symbols for general election.

He said that when the matter was previously discussed by the EC with the political parties, some of them demanded allotment of election symbols to the political parties on permanent basis.

He, however, said presently there existed no provision either in the political parties order or in allocation of symbols order, for permanent allocation of symbols to the political parties. He said amendment in the two Orders will be required to meet the demand.