The security deposits of the several candidates from major political parties have been confiscated because they have acquired less number of votes in the general elections than the desired electoral criteria.

Generally, the trend has been witnessed that the candidates of even the major political parties who do not have significant presence in any given area have seen their security deposits confiscated. They include several candidates of MQM, PPP-P, PML-N, PTI, JI, JUI-F, ANP, PML-Q and other parties.

The MQM has huge presence in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur but its candidates fielded for the general elections in other parts of Sindh as well as Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan failed to secure even 1/8th of the total votes cast in their respective constituencies in order to avoid the security deposits confiscation.

Likewise, the PML-N has huge presence in Punjab and certain parts of KP and Balochistan but its candidates in Sindh struggled to get even a few votes.

The PPP-P in the general elections appeared to be a Sindh-based party only with its presence confined to the province. Its several candidates in KP, Balochistan and Punjab failed to secure even 1/8th of the total votes cast in their constituencies. Same is the case with PTI, which has no real presence in Balochistan and Sindh.

The existing election laws make it obligatory on every candidate contesting the general elections to deposit four thousand rupees (for a National Assembly constituency) and two thousand rupees (for a provincial assembly constituency) as security deposit for contesting elections from the same constituency. The security deposit is refunded to the candidate after the elections provided that certain conditions are fulfilled and at least 1/8th of the votes of the total cast are secured.

According to Section 13 of ROPA 1976, “(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), no nomination paper delivered under section 12 shall be accepted unless (a) a sum of rupees (i) four thousand for election to a seat in the National Assembly; and (ii) a two thousand for election to a seat in the Provincial Assembly, is deposited in cash by the candidate or by any person on his behalf at the time of its delivery; or (b) it is accompanied by a bank draft for a sum as aforesaid drawn in favour of the returning officer or a receipt showing that a sum as aforesaid has been deposited by the candidate or by any person on his behalf at any branch of the National Bank of Pakistan or at a government treasury or sub-treasury. (2) Not more than one deposit under sub-section (1) shall be required in the case of a person who has been nominated as a candidate for the same seat by more than one nomination paper.”