Parliamentary Chamber: National Assembly


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  National Assembly

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  29 October 1990

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the members of the National Assembly following premature dissolution of this body on 6 August 1990. General elections had previously been held in November 1988.

Background and outcome of elections:

  Following the previous (November 1988) general elections for the National Assembly, the Government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan People’s Party - PPP) was dismissed on 6 August 1990 by President of the Republic Ghulam Ishaq Khan, on charges of corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement. As a result, the Assembly was prematurely dissolved (with the Senate continuing to sit) and new polling was scheduled for October. Mrs. Bhutto called the charges politically motivated. Her dismissal came after months of ethnic violence in Sind province and sharp disagreements with the Army over domestic and foreign policy.

As at the previous general elections, the nine-party, mostly right-wing Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA), led by Mr. Nawaz Sharif, was the main opponent of the ruling, populist PPP. The validity of the new Government’s charges against the Prime Minister became the principal issue in the one-month campaign, overshadowing such other questions as the country’s foundering economy, its nuclear programme or foreign aid. There were altogether 1,334 candidates.

On polling day, IDA scored a resounding triumph, winning 106 (a gain of 50) of the 217 popularly chosen seats to 44 for its rival. Candidates of small ethnic parties and independents - a number of them reportedly sympathetic to IDA - captured the remainder. In this context, the PPP alleged large-scale electoral fraud to prevent Mrs. Bhutto from returning to power. Analysts called the result a victory for the military, which maintained close ties to IDA.

On 6 November, the newly elected National Assembly chose Mr. Sharif as Prime Minister. He headed a 72 member Cabinet.

Round no 1 (29 October 1990): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 47,065,330
Voters 231,568
Valid votes 21,163,911

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA) 154 7,908,513 37.37
People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) 182 7,795,218 36.83
Muhajir Quaumi Movement 24 1,172,525 5.54
Independents 716 2,179,956 10.30
Other parties 256 2,107,699 9.96

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total*
Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA) 106
People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) 44
Muhajir Quaumi Movement 15
Independents 22
Other parties 20

  * Of directly-elected members.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 215
Women: 2

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Copyright 1990 Inter-Parliamentary Union