Senate election: PTI diehard supporters get lion’s share

Party aims to win six Senate seats in the March 3 election


Our Correspondent February 06, 2018
Election on half of the 104-seat House is scheduled for March 3, as 52 senators will retire next month. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has approved the names of six candidates from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for the Senate election scheduled to be held on March 3.

The candidates are Faisal Javed Khan, Major (Retd) Fida Hussain, Azam Khan Swati, Dr Meher Taj Roghanni, Khial Zaman Orakzai, and Ayub Afridi.

The names have been approved by the party’s parliamentary board. With at least six of its new lawmakers expected to get elected to the upper house of parliament, the PTI is likely to become the third largest political party in terms of its strength in the Senate.

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Currently, the PTI stands at the fourth position, given its strength of seven senators in the house and only one of its senators, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, is scheduled to retire in March. However, the party has decided to approve his name for another term of six years in the House and he is likely to continue.

The PTI expects to win six Senate seats out of 52 during the March 3 election, all of them coming from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where the party rules; thus putting the PTI’s strength to 12.

The PTI nominees include 37-year-old Faisal Javed Khan, the central additional secretary information of the party, who joined PTI in 1996 and is considered one of the most loyal workers of the party.

Dr Meher Taj Roghanni, currently serving as deputy speaker of K-P Assembly, was elected as MPA in 2013 on a seat reserved for women.

She served as head of the department of Paediatrics, RMI, Peshawar, before she formally joined the PTI. She hails from Mardan.

Khial Zaman Orakzai is an elected MNA from Hangu and in the recent past remained in the news for his severe criticism of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and his cabinet members. He was part of the elected MNAs and MPAs who had demanded Imran Khan to remove Khattak from his position.

Zaman told The Express Tribune that his criticism was aimed at bringing betterment in the performance of the K-P government. He said his criticism was ‘just’ and due to it the K-P government not only improved its performance but also strengthened provincial institutions.

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Major (retd) Fida Hussain is secretary-general of the PTI in Malakand Division. Ayub Afridi is a known businessman and is chairman of Haier Pakistan.

Under the Senate election rules, provinces elect their representatives in the upper house on the basis of their strength in the respective provincial assembly, while members of the National Assembly vote to elect senators from Islamabad.

On February 3, the K-P assembly will elect a total of 11 senators.

According to the formula, 123-seat K-P assembly will be required a total of 17 MPAs vote to elect one senator.

The parties’ strength chart shows that the PTI has 61 MPAs, Qaumi Watan Party (10), PPP (6), PML-N (16), JI (7), ANP (5) and two independents. Under the formula the PTI hopes to win some six senate seats from K-P.

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