ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s sole candidate from Islamabad has withdrawn his nomination papers for the Senate, paving the way for unopposed election of the PML-Quaid and Pakistan Peoples Party candidates.
Muhammad Omar Mughal, who was contesting from the PML-N, retracted his nomination papers on Monday, increasing the likelihood that PML-Q’s Mushahid Hussain Syed and PPP’s Osman Saifullah will sail through to the Senate without any opposition.
Officials told The Express Tribune that four candidates were contesting for two Senate seats in Islamabad. Apart from Syed, Saifullah and Mughal, PML-N’s Dr Mazhar Hussain Mirza had also submitted his nomination papers. Mirza’s papers were rejected by the election commission for being incomplete.
Officials also say that PPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan and PML-N’s Ishaq Dar will likely be elected senators unopposed on technocrat seats from Punjab. PML-N’s Kamran Michael has also been elected without facing any challenge on a minority seat from the same province.
Meanwhile, appeals regarding objections will be disposed off on February 22 and 23. A finalised list of candidates will be announced on February 24.
Members of the Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan assemblies will elect seven members each to the Senate on general seats, two on seats reserved for women and two on seats reserved for technocrats, including Ulema. One member each will be elected on the seats reserved for minorities.
Members of the National Assembly will elect to the Senate one member against a general seat and one other on the seat reserved for technocrats, including Ulema, from the federal capital. Fata MNAs will elect four members against general seats.
Elections are being conducted on 54 seats. Fifty senators will retire in March after completing their respective terms, which 11 from each province, four from Fata and two from the federal capital. Four senators will be elected for the first time on seats for minorities, which have been introduced after the 18th amendment. The newly-elected senators will take oath on March 12.