PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) decision to drop Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-S), from the list of its Senate candidates from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has baffled everyone.
The PTI made a late-night announcement on Sunday naming six candidates from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for the upcoming Senate election.
The candidates are: Faisal Javed Khan, Azam Swati, Dr Mehar Taj Roghani, Khayal Zaman, Fida Hussain and Ayub Afridi.
Haq’s name was conspicuously absent from the list, thus closing the door on the Maulana from Akora Khattak to become a senator on one of the K-P seats.
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The move also leaves a question mark on an electoral alliance the PTI and the JUI-S had agreed on last year. The two parties had agreed to formulate a ‘joint strategy’ for the next general elections.
Haq had said that the alliance would not be limited to Nowshera district, but it would be for all constituencies across the country.
Though the two parties did not disclose the modalities of their alliance, it was understood that the PTI had offered the Maulana a Senate seat in return for his support in the elections.
JUI-S spokesperson Maulana Yusuf Shah, when contacted, was clueless about the PTI decision.
“We will hold a meeting of our Majlis-e-Shura on the decision,” he told The Express Tribune, adding, “The PTI had promised us a Senate seat [for Maulana Samiul Haq].”
Shah said that the JUI-S and the PTI had decided to contest the general elections from a single platform, adding that the modalities of seat-to-seat adjustments between the two parties had to be worked out.
“We had not asked [PTI] for a [Senate] seat, it came from their side,” claimed the JUI-S spokesperson.
Meanwhile, 92 candidates have obtained nominations papers from the Election Commission of Pakistan to contest election to Senate on Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa seats. They include 58 candidates for general seats, 14 for seats reserved for women and 17 for technocrats.
Political parties having representation in the K-P assembly are in the process of finalising their candidates for the upper house of parliament on which the elections are scheduled for March 3.
So far the PTI, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have announced their candidates.
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The ECP has issued instructions to the aspirant candidates on Monday regarding the requirements needed to be completed by them before submitting their nomination papers.
The 11 seats of the Senate from K-P include seven general seats and two each for technocrats and women.
Those who received their nomination papers include Sheikh Yaqoob, Sher Afgan, Rihan Alam, Faisal Sakhi Butt, Zubair Ali, Pir Sabir Shah, Usman Saifullah, Anwar Saifullah, Humayun Saifullah, Jahangir Saifullah, Asad Saifullah, Malik Riaz Ahmed, Muhammad Zahir Shah, Dildar Khan, Bahramand Tangi and Faisal Javed. And those having collected nomination papers for women-reserved seats include Rubina Khalid, Shazia Tehmas, Rabia Basri, Fayeza Bibi and Shagufta Malik.
The JUI-F has announced Maulana Gul Naseeb, Talha Mahmood, Sheikh Yaqoob and Naeema Kishwar as their candidates while the JI’s sole candidate for a general seat is provincial chief Mushtaq Ahmed Khan.
As per a press release issued by the ECP’s K-P chapter, the last day for submission of the nomination papers is February 8, after which the scrutiny of the documents will be completed till February 12 and the names of the candidates whose documents are rejected or accepted would be announced by the ECP.
Appeals against rejection of the nomination papers could be submitted until February 15, and the tribunal’s decision on the appeal will come out on February 17.
The ECP would issue the final list of candidates on February 18 and the candidate may take their nomination papers back until February 19.
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The ECP has assigned Pir Maqbool Ahmed to serve as returning officer for K-P. The electoral watchdog allows Rs1.5 million to be spent by a candidate on his election campaign and the candidate has to open a new bank account for the money which he or she wants to spend, and an attested copy of the bank account shall accompany the nomination papers.
The fee for the nomination papers is Rs20,000 and the papers have to be filed along with the attested copies of the candidate’s national identity card and manuscript of the voter list having his name registered as voter and proposer’s identity card. A copy of the provincial assembly card, attested by the provincial assembly, is also to be submitted along with the nomination papers.