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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Pakistan announces poll schedule
Jamaati members rally
The government is yet to lift bans on political rallies

Pakistan's election commission has issued the official schedule of elections to the national and provincial assemblies.

They will take place on October 10, as already announced.

However, the election commission said indirect elections to the second house, the Senate, would now take place on 12 November.

The election commission has finally set the ball rolling towards nation-wide polls to restore the parliament which was closed after the military coup.

Procedure

The commission confirmed elections will take place on 10 October, as announced earlier by President Musharraf.

It said candidates would have to file their nomination papers next week.

Seventy-one parties will be allowed to take part in the elections.

The Senate will be chosen by members of the provincial assemblies and not directly elected, as had been proposed.

Major change

However, one major change is that members of religious minorities will vote with everyone else for the first time in more than 20 years, and won't be limited to casting their ballots for minority candidates.

There will be 60 seats reserved for women in the National Assembly and 10 for minorities.

There is now less than two months to go before the elections.

But there is little sign of public excitement, possibly because the government hasn't yet lifted the ban on political rallies and meetings.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

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See also:

05 Aug 02 | South Asia
04 Aug 02 | South Asia
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24 Jul 02 | South Asia
08 Aug 02 | South Asia
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