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Overview of Article 106 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, passed in 1973, serves as the supreme law of the land, outlining its structure and functions of governance. Within this constitutional framework, Article 106 plays a crucial role in outlining Provincial Assemblies’ composition and election processes; therefore this blog post intends to explore its nuances while providing clarity regarding its key components and significance.
Article 106 States
106. Constitution of Provincial Assemblies:
- Each Provincial Assembly shall consist of general seats and seats reserved for women and non-Muslims as specified herein below:-
- The seats for the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, referred to in clause (1), include sixteen general seats, four seats for women and one seat for non-Muslims in respect of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas: Provided that elections to the aforesaid seats shall be held within one year after the general elections, 2018.
- After elections to seats referred to in clause (1A), both clause (1A) and this clause shall stand omitted.
- A person shall be entitled to vote if-
- he is a citizen of Pakistan;
- he is not less than eighteen years of age;
- his name appears on the electoral roll; and
- he is not declared by a competent court to be of unsound mind.
- For the purpose of election to the Provincial Assembly,-
- the constituencies for the general seats shall be single member territorial constituencies and the members to fill such seats shall be elected by direct and free vote;
- each Province shall be a single constituency for all seats reserved for women and non-Muslims allocated to the respective Provinces under clause (3);
- the members to fill seats reserved for women and non-Muslims allocated to a Province under clause (1) shall be elected in accordance with law through proportional representation system of political parties’ lists of candidates on the basis of total number of general seats secured by each political party in the Provincial Assembly:
Provided that for the purpose of this sub-clause the total number of general seats won by a political party shall include the independent returned candidate or candidates who may duly join such political party within three days of the publication in the official Gazette of the names of the returned candidates.
Key Points of Article 106 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Composition of Provincial Assemblies: Article 106 establishes a framework for the composition of Provincial Assemblies, categorizing seats into general, women, and non-Muslim categories. Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh each have their designated number of seats, fostering proportional representation.
- Special Provision for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: A distinctive aspect of Article 106 lies in its provision for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The article outlines a specific timeline for holding elections for these seats, emphasizing the constitutional commitment to address regional nuances.
- Voting Eligibility Criteria: The article establishes the criteria for voter eligibility, emphasizing citizenship, age, inclusion on the electoral roll, and mental competency as prerequisites for the exercise of voting rights.
- Election Procedures: Article 106 meticulously outlines the election procedures, specifying single-member territorial constituencies for general seats. The proportional representation system for women and non-Muslims is a noteworthy feature, promoting a fair and representative political landscape.
- Incorporation of Independent Candidates: The provision allowing independent candidates to join political parties within three days of election result publication introduces flexibility into the system, ensuring that the final composition reflects the evolving political dynamics.
Crux of Article 106 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 106 reflects the constitutional commitment to democratic values, equitable representation, and the inclusion of diverse voices in the political sphere. By meticulously defining the composition of Provincial Assemblies and outlining the procedures for elections, the article serves as a cornerstone in shaping Pakistan’s political landscape.
Conclusion: Article 106 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 106 stands as a testament to Pakistan’s commitment to fostering a representative and inclusive democracy. The meticulous allocation of seats, the consideration of regional dynamics, and the emphasis on fair electoral procedures collectively contribute to the vibrancy of the country’s Provincial Assemblies. As Pakistan continues to evolve, Article 106 remains a foundational element, ensuring that the voice of every citizen finds expression in the corridors of power.