Islamabad (HRNW): The Senate elections on 52 seats will be held tomorrow (Saturday). At least 135 candidates are contesting for the seats in the Upper House. Twelve Senators each from Punjab and Sindh, 11 members each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, four lawmakers from FATA, and two members from the federal capital will be elected in Senate polls tomorrow. Polling process will start from 9am and continue till 4pm. The Election Commission of Pakistan, in a review meeting, has taken several decisions to ensure vote privacy during the elections. The Commission decided that returning officers will ensure that no voter exposes his vote’s privacy and neither be allowed to take issued ballot paper outside the polling station and in case of non-compliance the returning officer will cancel the ballot paper of such persons.
It was also decided that all returning officers will have powers of full magistrate and they can suspend the electoral process by bringing such elements to ECP’s notice in case of irregularity. Rangers or FC personnel will also be deputed outside the polling stations. The 52 Senators are retiring on March 11. Prominent among those who are retiring include Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Farhatullah Babar, Azam Swati, Kamran Michael, Shahi Syed, Kamil Ali Agha, Talha Mehmood, Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Nasreen Jalil and Ilyas Bilour.
Eighteen of the 52 retiring senators belong to the Pakistan People Party Parliamentarians (PPP-P), nine to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), five are from the Awami National Party (ANP), four each belong to Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), three to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), two to Balochistan National Party-A (BNP-A), and one each to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F). Five independents are also set to complete their tenure, according to the Senate website.
The PML-Q will have no representation in the house after this month as all its four senators will retire. The senators from Punjab who are retiring are: M. Hamza (PML-N), Kamil Ali Agha (PML-Q), Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari (independent), Muhammad Zafarullah Khan Dhandla (PML-N), Saud Majeed (PML-N) in place of Malik Rafique Rajwana, Sardar Zulfikar Khosa (PML-N), Asif Saeed Kirmani (PML-N) in place of Dr Babar Awan, Aitzaz Ahsan (PPP-P), Mohammad Ishaq Dar (PML-N), Khalida Parveen (PPP-P), Nuzhat Sadiq (PML-N) and Kamran Micheal (PML-N).