Dispelling rumours, ECP announces to hold Senate elections in March

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has approved the schedule for the upcoming Senate elections which are likely to be held in the first week of March, quashing all rumours about a delay.

Senators from four provinces, as well as the federal capital and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), will have their tenure expired on March 11 after completion of their six-year term in the upper house of the parliament. The election will be held for a similar number of seats in the four provincial assemblies.

Earlier on Tuesday, the ECP issued a notification about the approval of the schedule of the Senate’s elections, saying another notification will be issued on February 2, 2018. Moreover, the ECP also announced the appointment of returning officers (ROs) and polling officers (POs) for this practice.

Sources in the ECP have suggested that the election is likely to be held on March 3.

It is crucial to note that the Senate comprises 104 members, in which 23 each are from four provinces, eight from FATA and four from Islamabad—the 23 seats allocated for each province comprise 14 general seats, four reserved for women, four for technocrats and one for a minority member.

After the senators’ tenure is expired on March 11, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)—which has 27 seats in the upper house—will lose 18 senators, whereas the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)—which has 26 senators—will lose nine seats. On top of that, around five independent candidates will also complete their term, while the PML-Quaid will lose four seats.

Furthermore, the tenure of four senators from the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) will also end, and three senators of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl will also retire. Two will retire from Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A) and one each of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-Functional.

About 12 senators from Punjab are going to retire in March. Similarly, 12 senators are also retiring from Sindh. Of these, seven were elected on general seats, two on technocrat’s seats, two on women’s seat and on non-Muslim’s seat.

About 11 senators each are retiring from Balochistan and KP in March.

FATA’s four senators—Hidayatullah, Hilalur Rehman, Malik Najmul Hassan and Muhammad Saleh Shah—will retire in March. Lastly, Osman Saifullah Khan, who was elected to Islamabad’s general seat, and, Mushahid Hussain Syed, who was elected to technocrat seat, will also retire.

Dispelling rumours, ECP announces to hold Senate elections in March