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By-election on two Senate seats from Punjab underway

LAHORE: By-election for two Senate seats – one each for the general seat and the reserved seat for women – from Punjab has begun on Thursday (today), ARY News reported.

According to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) schedule, the polling started at Punjab Assembly building at 9:00 am, which will be continued till 4:00 pm without any break.

As many as 369, out of total 371, members will take part in the voting process to elect new members of the Senate.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf’s Waleed Iqbal, the grandson of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and Saud Majeed of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) contesting for the general seat while PTI’s Seemi Ezdi will fight for the reserved seat of women against former state minister for health Saira Afzal Tarar.

The ECP has appointed Election Commissioner Punjab Zafar Iqbal Hussain as Returning Officer besides five Polling Officers for the purpose of the senate by-elections.

According to the data available on the Punjab Assembly website, the PTI had a total strength of 180 members in the house while its ally, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), had 10 seats, bringing the tally up to 190 votes.

On the contrary, the PML-N has 167 members while the PPP has seven. There are four independent candidates as well. The PML-N has awarded ticket to former senator Saud Majeed and former state minister for health Saira Tarar.

The two Senate seats in Punjab fell vacant after Sadia Abbasi, the sister of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and PML-N leader Haroon Akhtar Khan were disqualified for possessing dual nationalities.

They were disqualified by the apex court for holding dual nationalities under Article 63 (1)(c) of the Constitution at the time of filing their nomination papers for upper house of the parliament.

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