Pakistan

LAHORE – The election on a vacant Senate seat from Punjab is being held today for which the polling started at 9:00am and will continue till 4:00pm in the provincial assembly.

As many as 354 members of Punjab Assembly will exercise their right to vote for voting either Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Shahzad Waseem and Khawaja Hassan of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to Senate.

Punjab Assembly has been declared polling station while provincial election commissioner will act as presiding officer. PML-N’s Tahir Khalil Sindhu cast the first vote in the assembly.

The seat was vacated by PTI s Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on assuming charge of the Governor Punjab.

Numbers Game

A nail-biting contest is expected between the ruling and opposition alliance as the difference of seats between the two groups is 20.

The PML-N has a total strength of 160 members in the assembly, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf 187, while Pakistan People’s Party has seven seats. If PPP goes with PML-N, the opposition will officially have 167 votes in the Punjab Assembly.

But the situation is not so simple; in the election for Punjab Assembly speaker, 12 of the PML-N MPAs reportedly voted for Ch Pervaiz Elahi – the PTI candidate – while in the election for the Chief Minister, 16 PML-N votes were rejected while two did not show up on the election day.

PML-N’s Khwaja Ahmed Hassan had been an active politician with tons of experience in governance. He had served as the mayor of the Lahore and also worked closely with the chief minister as his key advisor in the past government.

On the other hand, PTI candidate, Shahzad Waseem, is a novice, who represents the party as one of its founding members. He served as a minister in the cabinet of former president Pervez Musharraf.