Senate elections: Rules and etiquettes

How are Senate elections carried out? Who votes? And how are votes counted? Find out in this guide to the Senate elections

Amin Hafeez

There is barely a day left to go before half of the Senate, the upper house of Parliament, is reelected.

The Election Commission of Pakistan, the body tasked to conduct polls in the country, has issued the final lists of contesting candidates from Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

52 seats in total are up for contest from around the country.

One seat vacated after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Senator Nehal Hashmi was de-seated by the Supreme Court was filled by PML-N backed Dr. Asad Ashraf, running as an independent candidate on election held on March 1, inside the Punjab Assembly. 

Elections on the 52 seats, including the remaining 12 seats from Punjab, will be filled on March 3.

Since we won’t be voting directly in these elections, here is a guide to help our representatives vote correctly:

Rules dictate that all polling on the day of the elections be done through a secret ballot.

Each voter will be given four slips of paper:

-For the general seats: Green and white slips.

-Reserved women seats: Pink

-Technocrats, ulema and minority seats: Yellow

Voters must use a ballpoint pen only.

Cellphones and other electronic devices will not be allowed into the provincial assembly once the election commences.

Dr. Asad Ashraf will only be in office for a three-year term. While the rest of the senators will be elected for six years on March 3.

The Punjab Assembly has 371 members in the house. Of these, 317 are from the PML-N members, 30 from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, eight each are from PML-Q and the PPP while Jamaat-e-Islami has only one member in the assembly. 

Incidentally, three of the Punjab assembly’s seats are unoccupied and by-elections are yet to be held on these.

For more news and information regarding the Senate polls, visit