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ruling coalition sweeps senate polls with ppp grabs 11 pml n six seats

Ruling coalition ‘sweeps’ Senate polls with PPP grabs 11, PML-N six seats

ECP postpones polling in KP over ‘lingering issue of oath-taking on reserved seats’ Dar emerges victorious on Islamabad technocrat seat, independent Vawda from Sindh ISLAMABAD: The PML-N-led ruling coalition on Tuesday swept the Senate election on 19 seats, while the election was postponed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following the lingering dispute over the oath-taking by the opposition members elected on reserved seats. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) won a majority of 11 out of the total 19 seats, with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) grabbing six seats while independent candidate Faisal Vawda also succeeded from Sindh. A total of 18 senators were already elected unopposed including 11 from Balochistan. The polling was conducted in the provincial legislatures of Sindh and Punjab while the Senate election in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly 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. KP Provincial Election Commissioner Shamshad Khan announced the decision as returning officer for the KP Assembly. Earlier, Opposition lawmakers in KP Assembly had submitted a resolution to the provincial election commissioner to postpone the Senate elections. Arrangements were complete for conducting Senate elections in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. The staff for holding Senate elections was present in the assembly, however, polling for the upper house election could not be started even after 10 am. The request for deferment of elections was submitted by Ahmed Karim Kundi of the opposition to the provincial election commissioner. The opposition member took the stance that 25 members on reserved seats had not taken oath as yet so the election should be postponed. Islamabad seats Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar emerged victorious on technocrat seat of Islamabad with 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, PPP’s Rana Mahmoodul Hassan emerged victorious with 224 votes, while his rival of SCI, Farzand Ali Shah received 79 votes out of a total of 310 votes cast, with 7 votes rejected. Sindh Assembly 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 Assembly Out of 12 vacant seats in Punjab, the election was held on five seats as seven candidates were already elected unopposed. 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 had adopted 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. Number game in Uppher House of Parliament According to calculations, PTI boasts 20 members presently, with the potential to grab seven more from their Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stronghold, which will hand the party impressive 27 senators. Meanwhile, if every MNA and MPA toes the party line, the PPP faces smooth sailing, anticipated to secure 10 to 11 seats from Sindh, plus one each from KP and Islamabad. With 13 senators in their pocket, the PPP eyes a significant boost, poised to nab 12 to 13 more seats, landing them the runner-up spot with 25 to 26 members in the revamped Senate. Not to be outdone, the PML-N, presently with 13 senators, eyes an expansion, eyeing seven more seats — five from Punjab and one each from K-P and Islamabad. This projected haul would secure their status as the Senate’s third powerhouse. Interestingly, the Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party, and PML-Functional face a Senate exodus as their members retire in March. With their Senate presence dwindling to zero, they’ve opted out of the race, aligning with the prevailing assembly dynamics. In Punjab, after purportedly striking a deal under the table, the nation’s three heavyweight parties – the PML-N, PPP, and PTI – have secured a clean sweep in the upper house of parliament. All seven contenders vying for the province’s general seats have coasted to victory unchallenged. Out of this fortunate seven, four champions ride the PML-N’s chariot to success, while the remaining two owe their triumph to the PTI-Sunni Ittehad Council alliance. With the stage seemingly set, three contenders are left to duke it out for the two technocrat seats following the graceful exit of Mustafa Ramday from the fray. Meanwhile, a spirited competition is expected from Sindh as 11 contenders battle for the coveted seven general seats from the province. Furthermore, the stakes are high with three aspirants vying for the two reserved seats for women, while four eager hopefuls vie for the two technocrat/ulema slots. Adding to the mix, two candidates throw their hats into the ring for the lone seat reserved for minorities. Sindh’s political landscape takes an interesting turn with Faisal Vawda, reportedly backed by powerful circles, throwing his hat into the ring as an independent contender. With the PPP’s stronghold evident in the provincial assembly, a strategic move to support Vawda could potentially secure at least five out of the seven general seats, leaving one seat for MQM-P. However, should all proceed as planned, the PPP appears poised to sweep the remaining five seats from the province – securing both women and technocrat slots, alongside the minority representation. On the other hand, The PTI-ruled K-P braces for an enthralling showdown as the MPAs gear up to cast their votes, determining the fate of 11 senators, with seven seats up for grabs in the general category. PM felicitates newly elected senators Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday felicitated the newly elected senators on their success and expressed good wishes. In his congratulatory message, the prime minister said the Senate elections were the continuation of democratic process. He hoped that senators will 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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