Monday Feb 19 2018

Senate elections: Last day today to withdraw nominations from provinces


Today is the last day to withdraw nomination papers for the Senate elections from the provinces.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), candidates can take back their nominations by 4pm today, after which the final list of candidates will be issued.

The Senate elections from the provinces, Islamabad and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will be held on March 3 as 52 out of the 104 senators retire on March 11.

In Balochistan, a total of 26 candidates, 15 on general, six on women and five on technocrats’ seats, are in the run against 11 vacancies. 

In Punjab, Ishaq Dar withdrew his nomination papers on the general seat and will contest from the technocrat’s seat. Punjab Election Commissioner Sharifullah said for the 12 total Senate seats from Punjab, there are 27 candidates. 

He added that for the seven general seats, there are 14 candidates in the run whereas five each for the two women and two technocrats’ seats. Moreover, three candidates are in the run for the minorities’ seat. 

According to the ECP's schedule for the election of four senators from FATA, the decisions on the appeals against approval of nomination papers will be announced on Feb 20 while Feb 21 will be the last date for the withdrawal of candidature.

Similarly, for the election on Islamabad’s two Senate seats, the election tribunal will dispose of appeals against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers today whereas the last date for the withdrawal of candidature is Feb 21.

The ECP issued the polling schedule for the provinces, FATA and Islamabad separately owing to the delay by the president in extending the recently passed Elections Act, 2017 to FATA and Islamabad. 

A total of 11 senators will be elected 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. 

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.