QUETTA: Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate Manzoor Khan Kakar and Balochistan National Party Mengal’s (BNP-M) Ghulam Nabi Marri are the front runners in a Senate by-election being held today (Monday) from 9am till 4pm.
The seat fell vacant after the death of Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s (PkMAP) Sardar Babar Musakhel.
PkMAP’s Sardar Muhammad Haneef Musakhel is also in the run.
The ruling BAP’s candidate enjoys the support of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Moreover, the BNP-M candidate has been backed by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
According to sources, all political parties strived hard for winning support of allies to ensure victory of their candidates for the vacant seat but a tough contest is expected between BAP and PTI’s joint candidate Manzoor Kakar and BNP-M and JUI F’s Ghulam Nabi Marri.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has completed the preparations for the polling to be held in the provincial assembly.
A security plan has been finalised and Frontier Corps, police and Balochistan Constabulary’s personnel will be deployed on the occasion. The ECP Balochistan has supplied ballot papers and other election material in the Assembly Hall.
BNP-M chief Sardar Akhter Mengal arrived in Quetta on Saturday to gain support from other parties for the opposition candidate. Talks between BNP-M and PkMAP have reached the final phase as PkMAP has only one MPA and it may withdraw Hanif Musakhel in favour of the BNP-M candidate.
Earlier this month, BNP-M leaders had met the central leadership of PTI, seeking its support in the Senate by-polls but the PTI announce support for BAP.
Kakar is Secretary General of BAP and is perceived as a strong candidate by political pundits but Marri may pose a challenge if he wins support from the Jamhoori Watan Party and other parties having members in the assembly.