PESHAWAR: As many as 18 candidates have submitted their nomination papers with the top poll body to contest for Senate seats from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Elections for the Senate are scheduled to be conducted on March 3.
As per the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chapter of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), as many as 129 potential candidates had collected nomination papers from their office, but only 18 submitted filled forms so far. The last day for submitting nomination papers is Thursday (today).
A total 82 potential candidates have collected nomination papers for the seven general seats, 25 for the two women seats and 22 for the two slots of technocrats.
Until Wednesday, 12 candidates on general seats had submitted their papers, four for women and two for technocrats’ seats.
Those who have submitted their nomination papers include the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket holders Azam Swati, Muhammad Ayub, Khayal Zaman, Dr Mehar Taj Roghani, Faisal Javed Khan and Fida Hussain.
Awami National Party (ANP) ticket holders Masood Abbas Khattak and Shagufta Malik and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Talha Mehmood and Maulana Gul Naseeb have also submitted their nomination papers.
The scrutiny of documents is expected to be completed by February 12 when names of the candidates whose documents are rejected or accepted would be announced by the ECP.
Appeals against the ECP’s decision for rejecting the nomination papers of a candidate would be allowed to be submitted until February 15, and a tribunal will decide the appeal by February 17.
The ECP would then issue a final list of candidates for the slots on February 18 and the candidate may withdraw their nomination papers by February 19.
Maulana Samiul Haq of JUI-S has also collected his nomination papers with support from PTI.
It is also speculated that PTI fears horse-trading in the upcoming upper house election due to a bevy of disgruntled lawmakers in the provincial assembly which is why it has awarded party tickets to rich people such as Swati and Ayub, the father-in-law of Javed Afridi, owner of Peshawar Zalmi cricket team.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2018.