1970 Election of East Pakistan and Its Results


How Bangabandhu appealed to people before the 1970 election

1970 general election was the first in Pakistan state. The Election was held on the basis of adult and universal franchise. This election was held in two rounds: first on December 7 in 1970 and then on 17 January in 1971. The political parties which took part in that election were: Awami League, Pakistan People's Party (PPP), National Awami Party- NAP (Wali Khan), different groups of Muslim League, Jammat-e-Islami,Jamiate Ulama-e-Islam, J amiate Ulama-e-Pakistan, Nizam-e-Islam, Pakistan Democratic Party (PDP) etc. Of these parties, two main parties were Awami League under the leadership of Bangabandhu, and Pakistan People's Party under the leadership of Julfikar Ali Bhutto.

The main issue of Awami League's election manifesto was its 6-point program. The slogans of Pakistan People's Party were: 'Islam is our belief, democracy is our state system and socialism is our economy'. The themes of the People's Party's publicity were: 'strong centre', 'Islamic socialism' and continued opposition to India. On the other hand, Muslim League and other Islamic parties like PPP highlighted Islamic constitution, strong centre and opposition to India.

Election Results

The results of 1970 general elections are presented in the tables below.

Party-wise results in 1970 General Elections

Election Results to the East Pakistan Provincial Legislature

Election Results to the East Pakistan Provincial Legislature

The general election of 1970 was held in a fair, peaceful and disciplined environment. In the result of the election, Awami League won 160 out of 162 regional seats of the national assembly. Along with the 7 reserved seats for women, Awami League won a total 167 seats out of 313. In the provincial assembly of East Pakistan, Awami League won 288 regional seats out of 300.In the rest of the 12 seats, independent candidates won 9, Pakistan Democratic Party won 2 and Jamat-E- Islami won 1 seat. Including the 10 reserved seats for women, Awami League won 298 seats in the provincial assembly.

On the other hand, Julfiquar Ali Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party won 83 out of the allotted 138 seats. Muslim League (Kaium Khan) won 9, Muslim League (council) won 7, Jamiat-e- Ulama-e Islam won 7, National Awami Party-NAP (Wali Khan) won 6, Jamaiat-e-Ulama-e Pakistan won 7, Jamat-E-Islami won 4, Muslim League (Convention) won 2 and non-party candidates won 13 out of the remaining 55 seats.

In the reserved 6 seats for women in West Pakistan PPP won 5 and NAP (Wali Khan) won the remaining one, including the reserved seats for women PPP won a total of 88 seats.

As Awami League won the absolute majority in 1970 general elections, it made the Pakistani ruling elites apprehensive about losing power. Through the winning of AL's absolute majority in the elections, Bangali got the rights to attaining the state authority and the assurance of drafting constitution based on 6-points. Both were unacceptable to the Pakistani ruling elites. As a result, right after the publication of the election results, palace conspiracy began. Julfiqar Ali Bhutto, the leader of Pakistan People's Party got actively implicated in the conspiracy being orchestrated by civil-military bureaucracy elites.

Pakistani military janta continued to negotiate with the majority party leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, while troops and weapons were being brought in from West Pakistan. The Pakistani ruling elites could not cordially accept the victory of AL. They became perturbed at Bangabandhu's uncompromising stand about 6-points. So having made up their mind for a military solution to the rising problem, they took time for preparation until 25 March 1971.

President Yahyia Khan called the National Assembly session on 3 March, 1971. After the elections, he had labeled Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the 'future Prime Minister' of Pakistan. But all this was an eye-wash. Inside, there was a strong conspiracy to nullify the verdict of the election.


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