General

Upcoming Senate elections: 144 nomination forms submitted against 52 seats

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has received 144 nomination papers for the March 3 Senate elections.
A total of 52 Senators in the house of 104 are set to retire following the completion of their six-year term.
February 8 was the last date for filing of nomination papers, after which the scrutiny of nomination papers will be conducted before February 12. The aspirants will be allowed to withdraw their nomination papers until February 19, while polling will be held on March 3.
According to the documents of the ECP a total of 34 nomination forms were submitted from Punjab, of which 21 forms were submitted for general seats, five for reserved seats for women, five for technocrat seats, and three for reserved seats for minorities.
Besides, a total of 47 nomination forms were submitted from Sindh, out of which 23 were submitted for general seats, 11 for reserved seats for technocrats, nine for women and four for reserved seats for minorities.
In Balochistan, a total of 28 nomination forms were submitted. Out of the total, 15 forms were submitted against general seats, seven for reserved seats for technocrats, and six for women-specific seats.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a total of 34 nomination forms were submitted for the March 3 Senate elections. Of the total, 20 forms were submitted against general seats, six for reserved seats for technocrats and eight for reserved seats for women.
According to the documents, there was no nomination for Senate elections from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), whereas only one nomination emerged for technocrat seat from Islamabad.
The schedule for Senate polls for the four provinces was announced on February 2, but the same for the seats from the federal capital and Fata was withheld due to some procedural hitches.
The reason for withholding the schedule for four out of eight seats from Fata and two out of four from Islamabad was the failure of the Presidency to extend the Elections Act 2017 to Fata through an order and determine the manner in which polling is to be held for seats from Islamabad and Fata, under Article 59 of the Constitution.
Later, the schedule for seats from Islamabad was ann­ounc­ed on Feb 4 and the announcement of the schedule for Fata seats now makes it sure that polling for all 52 Senate seats will take place on March 3.
Apparently, the biggest loser of the exercise will be the PPP, whose 18 Senators, including Chairman Raza Rabbani, will be replaced by newcomers. Nine Senators from the ruling PML-N are also among those retiring but the party is expected to gain seats by the exercise, despite the recent upheaval in Balochistan Assembly which saw PML-Q’s Abdul Quddus Bizenjo replacing PML-N’s Sanaullah Zehri for the chief minister slot.
Elections will be held for seven general and four reserved seats from each province, including two each for women and technocrats, four seats from Fata, two from Islamabad and two minority seats.