Pakistan

Polling for Senate elections underway

ISLAMABAD: Polling for 48 Senate seats has been underway in the national and four provincial assemblies, ARY News reported on Thursday.

The election commission has declared the halls of national and provincial assemblies as polling stations for 48 Senate seats contested by 132 candidates. The members of the assemblies could cast their votes till 4:00 pm.

Four candidates have returned unopposed on the women and technocrat seats from Sindh.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, 84 candidates will contest for 33 general seats from the provinces, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the federal capital, 22 for eight seats reserved for women from the provinces and the federal capital and 18 for eight seats reserved for technocrats, including ulema. Eight candidates will contest for two seats reserved for minorities — one each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

The halls of the provincial assemblies have been declared polling stations for the respective provinces and the National Assembly for four senators from Fata and two from Islamabad.

Moreover, the President has issued an ordinance with regard to the voting rights of Fata senators in the Senate elections.

The ordinance withdraws the Statutory Regulatory Order of July 7, 1975, as well as a 2002 executive order — issued by former president Gen Pervez Musharraf — which gave each tribal senator as many votes as the number of vacant seats. Following the withdrawal of the two earlier orders, each Fata MNA will now only have one vote.

The ordinance will be applicable to the Senate polls being held today.

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