The ruling party would like to hold Senate elections right away, and claim its majority in the upper house of parliament, but constitution demands that the election schedule is not announced before February 12, 2012.
The party has, meanwhile, proposed March 6 for the polls for 54 seats of the Senate.
In a recent meeting with Election Commission officials, Senate chairman Farooq Naek proposed March 6th as polling day for Senate elections, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.
On March 12 next year, 50 senators, half of the total current strength, will retire, including 11 from each of the four provinces, four from FATA and two from the federal capital.
After the 18th Amendment, Senate’s strength has been increased to 104, with the inclusion of four seats for minorities.
Under the law, the Election Commission cannot announce the schedule for Senate elections before February 12, but since there is no specified time frame for campaigning, as is the case for national or provincial assembly candidates, the commission is authorized complete the exercise in a short span.
Leader of House in the Senate Nayyar Bukhari, when contacted, said he was not aware of the proposal but confirmed that under the law, the Election Commission is required to complete the process by March 11.
“You can safely say that the schedule for these polls can come in the second or third week of February and elections can take place after the third week of February,” Bukhari, a ruling party senator, added.
PPP to gain at PML-Q, JI’s cost
For the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Senate elections have immense importance not only because, with 45 to 50 seats after the March elections, it would become the single-largest party in the upper house, but the polls will also play a major role in the next presidential elections.
Jamat-e-Islami and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) would lose most of their seats, experts say.
PML-Q’s strength in the Senate would drop from 21 to between 4 and 6 seats while JI, and some other parties that had boycotted the 2008 general elections, would have no representation in the Senate for the next three years.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
please show some sports man spirit.
Is it surprising that the rightwing alliance does not want the govt to continue till March senate elections. Nawaz Sharif and IK both would have political set backs with the emergence of PPP as the single largest party. Hence all the efforts to deprive it of election results.