Polling for 37 Senate seats today
ISLAMABAD: Polling for 37 Senate seats – excluding Punjab where senators got elected unopposed will take place on Wednesday (today).
Polling will start at the Parliament House Islamabad and the provincial assemblies of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 09:00 am and will continue till 5:00 pm without any break.
There will be no polling in Punjab as all the candidates for three categories — seven general and two seats each reserved for women and technocrats — were elected unopposed last week.
There are a total of 72 candidates contesting the 2021 Senate polls from the federal capital and the three provinces.
Two senators will be elected from the federal capital, eleven from Sindh and 12 each from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In the federal capital, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh of PTI and Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani of PPP are vying for the general seat whilst for the women seat, Fauzia Arshad of PTI and Farzana Kausar of PML (N) are in the field.
Around 25 candidates are in the field for twelve seats of Senate from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 26 from Balochistan and 17 from Sindh province.
Senators to retire
Top members from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will be among the 52 Senators set to retire on March 3 2021 after completion of their six-year tenure.
Rehman Malik, Raza Rabbani, Farooq H Naek, Sherry Rehman, Saleem Mandviwalla will be among seven top PPP lawmakers set to retire after completing their tenure.
Usman Kakar from Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), Abdul Ghafoor Haideri from JUI-F, independent candidates Sajjad Turi, Momin Afridi, Taj Afridi, and Aurangzeb Orakzai will be among the retiring Senators.
From PML-N, their top Senators including Pervaiz Rashid, Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahid Ullah Khan, Javed Abbasi, Kulsoom Parveen, Prof Sajid Mir and Saleem Zia will also superannuate.
Six members of the PTI including Mohsin Aziz, Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Noman Wazir, Prof Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, and Zeeshan Khanzada will also complete their six-year-tenure of Senate in March 2021.
Sitara Ayaz of ANP, Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo, Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi and Dr. Ashok Kumar of National Party, and Sarfaraz Bugti of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) are also among some of the prominent lawmakers set to retire.
Currently, the National Assembly has 342 seats for lawmakers from across the country. The ruling PTI holds 157 seats, PML-N 83, PPP 55, 15 MMA, MQM-P 7, BAP 5, PML-Q 4, BNP 4, GDA 3, AML 1, ANP 1, JWP 1, and four are independent members.
There will be a one-to-one contest between Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh and former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani for a general seat and PTI’s Fauzia Arshad and PML-N’s Farzana Kausar for a women’s seat.
There are a total of 168 members in the Sindh Assembly. Elections will be held on seven vacant general seats of the senate from Sindh.
Each party would need 22 votes at least to get a Senator elected from the general seat.
The PPP has the support of its 99 lawmakers. The opposition parties that are part of the federal government coalition have the support of 65 lawmakers including 30 lawmakers of PTI, 21 of MQM-P and 14 MPAs of GDA.
The 145-member KP Assembly would elect 11 senators – seven on general seats, two each on technocrats and women seats and one on a minority seat.
Currently, the ruling PTI has 94 MPAs, JUI-F 15, ANP 12, PML-N seven, PPP five, BAP four, Jamaat-i-Islami three, PML-Q one, while the assembly has four independent members.
After the withdrawal of nomination papers by various candidates, now 26 candidates remain in the field from Balochistan.
Ruling BAP has a total of 24 seats in the provincial assembly, JUI-F 11, Balochistan National Party 10, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf 7, Awami National Party 4, Balochistan National Party (Awami) 3, Hazara Democratic Party 2, Jamhuri Wattan Party 1, Pakistan Muslim League (N) 1, Independent.
The 165-member Balochistan Assembly would elect 11 senators – seven on general seats, two each on technocrats and women seats and one on a minority seat.