Pakistani lawmakers begin secret vote for senate elections

Pakistan's senate election seen as a bellwether for Shahbaz Sharif
PML-N hopeful of sweeping Senate Elections in Punjab
Author

04 March, 2018

For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's 11 seats as many as 26 candidates will be contesting out of which 7 general seats, 2 for technocrats, and two are reserved for women.

Two seats are reserved for technocrats and five candidates are contesting for it.

PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan, despite his party's "surprisingly good" performance in the Senate elections, congratulated PTI candidate Chaudhry Sarwar for being the only opposition member to win a Senate seat from Punjab. He also thanked all those who voted for him.

Polling was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported.

"I am the poorest candidate among the contestants for the Senate".

"PMLN now the single largest party in Senate as well", tweeted Sharif's daughter and presumed political heir, Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

"Congratulations to all democrats". The voting for senate elections will end at 4 pm on March 3. "In which Western democracy does such a sale happen?" he said. They are not all elected at the same time: rather, half are elected at one time, and the other half three years later.

In Pakistan, the 342-member National Assembly and four provincial assemblies are the Electoral College for the Senate.

In 2018, 52 senators (who were elected in 2012) are slated to retire.

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The chart below shows how many votes are needed from each assembly to be successfully elected to a Senate General seat, assuming all lawmakers turn up to vote. The results said that PPP has won 10 seats from Sindh.

There were 65 independent candidates including 23 from the PML-N.

PML-N has not spoken about amending the constitution, but it has been on a collision course with the judiciary since the Supreme Court ousted Sharif from power. However, they are supported by the PML-N and will formally join it after the elections.

In Balochistan, a candidate needs just nine votes to become senator while in the biggest province of Punjab, 47 votes are needed to elect a senator. A candidate in FATA having support of just three lawmakers can surely land in the upper house of Pakistan.

Nearly all political parties had expressed dismay at the election laws of Senate and promised to improve them.

Pakistan held elections for its Senate to elect 52 members of the house for the next six years on Saturday amid strict measures to ensure transparency, the Election Commission said.

When asked if he would play on "front foot" after Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif's election as caretaker president of the party, the former minister said he was not playing cricket.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.


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