Friday Feb 09 2018

Deadline to file Senate nomination papers from provinces ends

A total of 52 senators are retiring on March 11 this year. Photo: File 

ISLAMABAD: The deadline to file nomination papers for a seat in the Senate from the provincial assemblies ended at 4pm today.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 34 candidates submitted nomination papers from Punjab: 21 nominations were submitted for general seats, five each for women and technocrat seats, and three for minorities.

From Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 31 candidates filed nomination papers: 20 for general seats, eight for women, and six for technocrat seats.

The ECP said that 28 nominations were received from Balochistan, whereas one candidate from Islamabad submitted nomination papers for a technocrat seat in the Senate.

So far, no candidate has submitted nomination papers from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

According to the ECP's schedule for the Senate election from provinces, the list of candidates will be published on Feb 9 while the last date for the scrutiny of nomination papers has been fixed for Feb 12.

Moreover, Feb 15 will be the last date for filing appeals against the rejection or acceptance of nomination papers, which will be disposed of by Feb 17. 

A revised list of the candidates will be published on Feb 18 whereas Feb 19 will be the last date for withdrawal of candidature.

Schedule for Islamabad

According to the ECP schedule for the election on the capital's two Senate seats, the nomination papers can be submitted by February 10 while their scrutiny will be conducted on February 13.

Appeals against the returning officer’s decision can be filed until February 16 after which a final list of candidates will be published. The schedule for Islamabad was issued separately as the matter was delayed owing to some legal hurdles. 

Schedule for FATA 

February 12 is the last date for filing nomination papers for the four Senate seats from FATA.

The schedule for the tribal areas was also issued after a delay as the Elections Act 2017 had not been extended to the tribal areas by the president. 

A list of final candidates will be published on Feb 13 whereas scrutiny of nomination papers will be conducted by the returning officer on Feb 15.

Meanwhile, appeals against acceptance or rejection of the nomination papers will be heard on Feb 17, the decisions on the appeals will be announced on Feb 20 while Feb 21 will be the last date for the withdrawal of candidature.

A total of 52 senators are set to retire on March 11 this year. 

According to the ECP, four senators will be elected on general seats from FATA, 11 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan each, and 12 each from Sindh and Punjab — including seven on general seats, two on technocrats' seats, two on women's seats and one on a minorities' seat.

Islamabad too will elect two senators — on general and technocrat seats.

The process and numbers

The Senate consists of a total of 104 members — 23 each from the four provinces, eight from FATA and four from Islamabad Capital Territory. The 23 seats of each province break down into 14 general seats, four each for women and technocrats and one for minorities.

While the total term for a senator is six years, half of the Senate retires after every three years.

The Senate elections depend on the party positions in the provincial assemblies as well as the National Assembly.

Four of the provincial assemblies vote for their representatives, whereas the FATA senators are elected by the MNAs from the tribal areas and the Islamabad senators by the National Assembly.

A person seeking election to the Senate should not be less than thirty years of age and should be registered as a voter in an area or province from where he or she seeks election and should meet other qualifications prescribed under Article 62 of the Constitution.