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If retired military men don’t win, why do they keep standing for election?

June 19, 2018

Retired military officers have often ventured into politics, but how well do they perform? 

In the past five general elections between 1993 and 2013, 138 National Assembly seats were contested by candidates who declared themselves ex-military officers. Of them, only 16 won.

For the past five general elections, retired military officers contested 65 NA seats as independents. The PPP fielded 15 candidates and the PML-N 15 as well. The retired officers stood for the remaining seats from the platforms of numerous other small and large political parties, including the PTI and PML-Q.

These independent candidate ex-military men have never, since 1993, managed to win a seat in the National Assembly. If they did win they did from the platforms of parties such as the PML-N, PPP or PML-Q (and not as independents). So, since 1993, of all the candidates who contested the elections for a National Assembly seat, approximately 11% were able to win.

The highest number of retired military to decide to fight the elections was in 2002. They contested 49 of the 272 NA seats.
This peak coincided with General Pervez Musharraf’s time in power.

In 2002, only six of these 49 seats were won by people of this profile.

SAMAA Digital was limited in its analysis of the provincial assemblies as data before 2008 is not publicly available.

Disclaimer: these numbers and analysis are based on ECP data.


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