QUETTA: The Election Commission Balochistan (ECB) accepted the nomination papers of 25 candidates for upper house election for ulemas, technocrats, minorities and reserved women seats. The Commission completed the scrutiny of papers on Friday.
ECB also rejected the nomination papers of five candidates for either not having party tickets or not appearing before the commission during the scrutiny process.
Reserved seats for women
As many as 12 nomination papers out of 13 were accepted for seats reserved for women.
The nomination papers of Raheela Hameed Khan Durrani, Rubina Irfan and MPA Nasreen Rehman Khethran were accepted by ECB. All three candidates belong to Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
The Pakistan Peoples Party gave party tickets to two candidates, Parveen Akhtar Mengal and Hina Gulzar, for seats reserved for women. Gulzar had also submitted nomination papers for a minority seat, which were rejected by the commission.
Others whose nomination papers were accepted include Agha Pari Gul and Farah Azeem Shah – independent candidates, Sabina Rauf of Jamiat Ulema-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), Naseema Bibi of Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A), Mehrun Nisa of Awami National Party (ANP) and Kishwar Ahmed of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).
Nomination papers of PPP candidate Fauzia Tabasum were rejected as she has not yet obtained party ticket and also failed to appear before the commission during scrutiny.
Seats for ulemas and technocrats
The nomination papers of Mufti Abdul Satar and Kamran Murtaza of JUI-F, Abdul Jabbar Khan Kakar of ANP, Agha Faisal of PML-N, Rozi Khan Kakar of PPP, Malik Taj Muhammad Bazai and Basant Lal Gulshan of PML-Q were accepted for seats reserved for ulema and technocrats.
Seats for minorities
The nomination papers of Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Ashok Kumar, Heman Dass of JUI-F, Benish Sikandar Masih of ANP and Gulshan of PML-Q were accepted for seats reserved for minorities.
ECB rejected the nomination papers of George Paul for not appearing before the commission today.
Independent candidate Kumar raised objection against the nomination of former Sindh MPA Vankwani, stating that he cannot contest election from Balochistan since he was a permanent citizen of Sindh and was a member of Sindh Assembly from 2002 to 2007.
“Vankwani was enrolled in Sindh’s voter list and had transferred his name to Quetta after the announcement of senate elections. It is a violation of section 20 of the Election Rules,” Kumar argued.
Earlier, ECB had accepted nomination papers of 20 out of 22 candidates for seven general seats.
Politicking prior to Senate elections
JUI-F, ANP and BNP-A had formed an alliance under Islamic National Democratic Alliance to field their candidates. There also have been meetings between PPP, JUI-F, PML-N and PML-Q leaders for forthcoming upper house election.
“There will be seat adjustments and several candidates will withdraw in coming days as talks are underway between different parties,” sources in Balochistan government said, adding that all the parties are part and parcel of provincial government.
However, PML-Q that enjoys majority in the provincial assembly will support independent candidates because its leadership had apparently failed to persuade the lawmakers. On the other hand, some of the PML-Q’s provincial ministers have reportedly agreed to back the PPP candidates.