ISLAMABAD (APP) – As many as 131 candidates are in the run for 48 Senate seats as National and provincial assemblies are meeting today to elect new senators to replace those who retire on completion of their six-year term.
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According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 84 candidates will contest for 33 general seats from the provinces, Federally Adminsitered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Federal Capital, 21 candidates for eight seats reserved for women from provinces and the Federal Capital, and 18 for eight seats reserved for Ulema/technocrats, while eight for two seats reserved for minorities, one each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan.
From the Federal Capital four candidates including Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Ashraf Gujjar, Raja Imran Ashraf and Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah will vie for one general seat while Mrs Bisma Asif, Mrs Shumaila Shahab, Ms Nargis Faiz Malik and Nargis Nasir will contest for one seat reserved for women.
From the Punjab province, ten candidates including Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, Mushahidullah Khan, Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum, Pervaiz Rashid, Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Nehal Hashmi, Nadeem Afzal Chan, Khawaja Mahmood Ahmed, Saleem Zia and Saud Majeed contest for seven general seats, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Najma Hameed and Sarwat Malik for two seats reserved for women, and Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, Prof Sajid Mir and Malik Nosher Khan Langrial for two seats reserved for Ulema/technocrats.
From the Sindh province, eight candidates including Islamuddin Sheikh, Imamuddin Shouqeen, Khush Bakht Shujaat, Saleem Mandviwala, Abdul Rehman Malik, Abdul Latif Ansari, Gianchand and Mian Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh will vie for seven general seats, Ms Sassui Palijo and Nighat Mirza for two seats reserved for women, and Farooq Hamid Naek and Muhammad Ali Khan Saif for two seats reserved for Ulema / technocrats.
From the KP province, 12 candidates including Haji Muhammad Adeel, Khanzada Khan, Sirajul Haq, Syed Shibli Faraz, Attaur Rehman, Ammar Ahmed Khan, Liaqat Khan Tarakai, Lt Gen Salahuddin Tirmzi, Mohsin Aziz, Manzoor Khan, Noor Alam Khan and Waqar Ahmed Khan will contest for seven general seats, six candidates including Samina Abid, Sitara Ayaz, Shazia Tehmas Khan, Shafia Amjad, Shaheen and Fauzia Fakhar uz Zaman Khan for two seats reserved for women, Afrasiab Khattak, Abdul Malik, Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Muhammad Hamayun Khan, Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh and Nauman Wazir for two seats reserved for Ulema / technocrats, and three candidates James Iqbal, John Kenneth Williams and Amar Jeet for one seat reserved for minorities.
From the Balochistan province, 14 candidates including Ahmed Khan, Amir Afzal Khan Mandokhel, Hasil Khan Bazinho, Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan, Sardar Muhammad yaqoob Khan Nasir, Muhammad Aslam Buledi, Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Yaseen Baloch, Moulana Abdul Ghafoor haideri, Kabir Ahmed, Mohammad Yousaf Badini and Mir Niamatullah Zehri will contest for seven general seats, Kalsoom Perveen, Sana Jamali, Nasreen Rehman Khetran, Tahira Khursheed, Gul Bashra and Rabia Yasmeen for seats reserved for women, Agha Shahbaz Khan Durrani, Engr Basant Lal Gulshan, Abdul Manaf Tareen, Muhammad Yaseem Baloch, Mukhtair Ahmed Chhalgari, Malik Sikandar Khan and Mir Kabir Ahmed for two seats reserved for Ulema/ technocrats, and Engr Basant Lal Gulshan, Danesh Kumar, DR Ashok Kumar, Roshan Khursheed Bharucha and Heman Das for one seat reserved for minorities.
From the FATA there will be 36 candidates contesting for four Senate seats.
According to the break-up of 52 Senate seats, there will be seven general seats from each province with two each seats reserved for women and Ulema / technocrats.
There will be four general seats from FATA, one general and one reserved seat for women from the Federal Capital and two seats reserved for minorities, one each from KP and Balochistan.
The scheme shows that members of provincial assemblies will elect the members for provinces at their respective houses while those of the National Assembly to elect two candidates and four candidates from FATA shall be elected by MNAs from FATA.
The ECP has completed all arrangements to hold the elections for the Senate. All the assemblies concerned will be treated as polling stations for elections on respective seats.
The election procedure shall base on priority basis as the electors shall select the candidates by setting their priority for each of them with first priority, second priority, third priority and so on. In the counting process the members who will enjoy maximum first priority shall be the top winners and then the second priority and so on till the required number of candidates completes.
The Commission has made it clear that the vote of any voter can be declared invalid if he or she marks one (meaning that the first priority) in front of the names of less than three candidates.
Moreover, if any marking other than writing one in front the name of a candidate is found on the ballot papers it may also be considered as invalid. The voters shall have to mark one, two or three in front of the name of a contesting candidate and any other marking shall not be acceptable.
There will be ban of use of mobile and any other electronic device during the polling process as the Commission is well set to prepare the respective houses to be used as polling stations for the Senate election on Thursday (March 05).