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July 24, 2018

Where do previously elected 272 MNAs stand in 2018 elections?

Top Story

July 24, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Over 43% (115 of 272) previously-elected parliamentarians (2013-2018) have either changed their political loyalties or not contesting for the Lower House of the Parliament at all or testing their fate as independents in the 2018 general elections.

 Some 54% (61 of 115) ex-MNAs either quit the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) or contesting as independent aspirants or not contesting elections at all, according to most updated official data obtained from multiple government offices directly dealing with the 2018 elections operations. Some 12% (14 of 115) MNAs either parted their ways with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) or not contesting at all or decided to as independent candidates, 10% (12 of 115) MPs either left the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) or not contesting elections and 5% (6 of 115) ex-MNAs said good bye to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) recently.

 Twenty-two previously elected parliamentarians belonged to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), National People’s Party (NPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP).

Over 48% (55 of 115) ex-MNAs belonged to Punjab, 25% (28 of 115) ex-MPs hailed from Sindh, 11% (13 of 115) ex-MNAs either changed their political loyalty or not went for contest in KP, 80% (12 of total 15) ex-MNAs either quit their parties or not contested the election in Balochistan and 64% (7 of total 11) previously elected MNAs changed their parties in the federally administered tribal areas (now merged into KP), revealed weeks-long carefully conducted research by this correspondent. As many as 59 previously elected members of the National Assembly were either not contesting for the Lower House of the Parliament or decided not to take part in the 2018 elections at all this time. However, half a dozen of them were contesting provincial assemblies elections.

Twenty-three previously elected MNAs, after saying good bye to their previous parties, are also contesting as independent candidates. Five ex-MNAs -- Nawaz Sharif, Captain (R) Safdar, Daniyal Aziz, Rana Zahid Hussain and Rai Hasan Nawaz

-- were disqualified by the apex court while an ex-MNA Abdul Rahim Mandokhail died. Majority (53 of total 55) ex-MNAs in Punjab who either changed their loyalties or not contesting the elections belonged to the PML-N, a party which remained under immense pressure since its top leadership was disqualified by the trial court for contesting the elections under PanamaLeaks case investigation. One ex-MNA each of the PPP and PML-Q changed their loyalties in Punjab. Some 29 ex-MNAs changed their parties just two weeks before the 2018 general elections.

Some 27% (31 of 115) ex-women MNAs on reserved seats were not chosen by their political parties. Thus 52% (31 of total 60) women (on general reserved seats) were not given tickets accordingly this year. As many as 22 of ex-women MNAs belonged to the PML-N and six of the total 10 MPs selected on minorities’ quota in 2013 were also not nominated for reserved seats in 2018. Similarly, collective number goes up to 151 of total 342 ex-MNAs who either changed their parties or not in electoral race or go as independent candidates for the National Assembly. Four previously elected MNAs of the JUI-F, who were not awarded tickets by the party top leadership this time, quit politics. Ex-MNA Sher Akbar of the JI quit his party and is now contesting elections on PTI’s ticket.

Only three of total 15 ex-MNAs -- Mahmood Achakzai of the PkMAP, Qadir Baloch of the PML-N and Ameer Zaman of the JUI-F -- from Balochistan proved loyal to their parties. Six ex-MNAs are not contesting the elections and rest of them joined either the PTI or BAP, revealed the official data. AJIP leader Usman Tarakai by merging his party into the PTI has joined hands with Imran Khan. Sardar Mohammad Yousaf is not contesting on the National Assembly as his son Shah Jahan Yousaf filed his nomination papers for the NA seat from Mansehra. Ali Zahid is contesting from Sialkot this time as his father Zahid Hamid quit politics. Uzair Malik from Khoshab is not contesting the NA elections as his mother Sumera Malik is contesting the elections. Nisar Cheema replaced his brother ex-MNA Iftikhar Cheema who is not contesting the elections from Gujranwala. Ayesha Gulalai, who formed her own party -- Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Gulalai -- left PTI but contesting election. Murtaza Jatoi, who had merged his National Peoples Party into the PML-N, has joined the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) in Sindh.

Around a dozen known MNAs who were a key part of the previous Parliament are not contesting this time. Among them are former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, MNAs Daniyal Aziz, Zahid Hamid, Captain (R) Safdar, Sattar Bachani, Ali Gohar, Tahir Bashir, Ghulam Rabbani Khar, Najaf Sial, Javed Hashmi, Rai Hasan Nawaz, Sardar Yousaf, Uzair Malik, Iftikhar Cheema and this long list goes on. Chaudhry Khadim is not contesting the MNA election, while his son Chaudhry Nadeem Khadim replaced him in Jhelum on the PML-N ticket.

Some 16 of the total 29 ex-MNAs, who previously won the elections on the PML-N ticket, are now contesting the elections on PTI tickets from Punjab.

Zafar Zulqarnain Sahi is contesting the NA elections on the PTI ticket while his father Col (R) Ghulam Rasool Sahi is not contesting the elections this year. Ali Gohar Baloch replaced his father Rajab Ali Baloch this time. He is contesting on the PML-N ticket from Faisalabad. Tahir Bashir Cheema is not contesting the election, while his daughter Fatima Bashir is contesting on the PTI’s ticket from Bahawalnagar. All previously elected PML-N MNAs from Muzaffargarh, Pakpattan, Chiniot and Jhang have either changed their loyalties or not contesting the election this time. All the PPP’s previously elected MNAs from Badin, Thatta, Ghotki and Naushero Feroz have either changed their party or not contesting on NA seats. All the PML-N’s previously elected MNAs from Nankana Sahib, Layyah, Toba Tek Singh and Sheikhupura did not change political loyalties.

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