Pak Times

Ruling coalition dominates Senate polls


The ruling coalition on Tuesday secured the majority of 19 Senate seats, with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) winning 11 and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerging victorious on six seats while independent candidate Faisal Vawda also succeeded from Sindh.

The polling was conducted in the provincial legislatures of Sindh and Punjab. Senators from Balochistan were elected unopposed. A total of 18 senators were elected unopposed including 11 from Balochistan.

The polling commenced at 9am and concluded at 4pm.

Polling did not commence in the K-P Assembly as the process was postponed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) “on account of delay of oaths of reserved seats”.

The ECP issued a notification of poll postponement and referred to its earlier March order in which it rejected a petition from the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) seeking the allocation of reserved seats.

Overall, 356 lawmakers participated in the elections, demonstrating a robust engagement with the democratic process. However, the votes of seven lawmakers were rejected.

Islamabad

In a significant win, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar secured victory on the Islamabad technocrat seat by garnering 222 votes against SIC’s Raja Ansar Mahmood’s 81 votes. A total of 310 members cast their votes, with 7 votes rejected.

Similarly, on the general seat, Rana Mahmoodul Hassan of the Pakistan Peoples Party emerged victorious with 224 votes, while his competitor, Farzand Ali Shah of SIC, received 79 votes out of a total of 310 votes cast, with 7 votes rejected.

Sindh

There were 20 candidates vying for the 12 Senate seats in Sindh, with 10 from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), one from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Pakistan, and one independent candidate Faisal Vawda succeeding.

On the general seats, PPP’s Ashraf Ali Jatoi, Dost Ali Jessar, Kazim Ali Shah, Masroor Ahsan, Nadim Bhutto, MQM’s Amir Chishti, and independent candidate Faisal Vawda were elected as senators.

In the reserved seats for women, PPP’s Quratulain Marri secured 59 votes and Rubina Khalid Khan got 58 votes, becoming Senators.

For the Technocrat seats, PPP’s Sarmad Ali and Barrister Amir Ghumro succeeded with 59 and 58 votes respectively, while PPP’s Poonjo Bheel was elected Senator on the minority seat.

Punjab

Out of 12 vacant seats in Punjab, candidates ran unopposed on seven seats, while elections took place for the remaining five.

From Lahore, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb secured victory on the technocrat seat with 128 votes, and Petroleum Minister Musadiq Malik obtained 121 votes.

On the Women’s seats, Anusha Rehman and Bushra Butt of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz emerged victorious, with Anusha Rehman obtaining 125 votes and Bushra securing 123 votes. Meanwhile, Sanam Javaid Khan of the SIC managed to garner 102 votes, with six votes rejected.

To ensure a seamless electoral process, the ECP has deployed several measures, including the printing of ballot papers in different colours – white for general seats, green for technocrats, pink for women, and yellow for minority representation.

Moreover, the logistical groundwork was laid out, with the transportation of election materials to returning officers completed.

These officers have issued the final roster of candidates vying for the 48 vacant Senate seats, encompassing 29 general, eight women, nine technocrats/Ulema, and two non-Muslim slots.

PM felicitates newly-elected senators

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif felicitated the newly-elected senators on their success and expressed good wishes. In his congratulatory message, the premier said the Senate elections were the continuation of the democratic process.

He hoped that senators would play their role for the uplift of the Constitution and the development of the country. “Newly elected senators should participate in effective legislation for public welfare and national development and prosperity,” he said.

PM Shehbaz highlighted that the role of senators was very important for the strengthening of federal units and the observance of democratic values.

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