As March 2 approaches, parties are poring over the nominations and finalising their candidates for the Senate elections.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif will chair a meeting and finalise party candidates at Raiwind on Friday (today), sources said.
Nawaz will review short-listed candidates for a final approval, they added.
Former member National Assembly Ghulam Dastgir Khan, Senator Ishaq Dar, Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa and M Hamza are reported to be PML-N’s likely candidates, sources added.
In the event that Senator Dar decided to contest Senate elections on the seat reserved for technocrats, three candidates are vying for his place – PML-N Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, former principal secretary Saeed Mehdi and Siddiqul Farooq.
Tariq C Qaiser is likely to get the party ticket for the newly-reserved seat for minorities while Seema Jillani is expected to secure nomination for the seat reserved for women, sources added.
According to the schedule notified by the election commission, candidates for Senate elections can file their nomination papers till February 14. Their scrutiny will be completed by February 17 and the list of contesting candidates would be finalised by February 24, for polling on March 2.
The elections will be held on 54 seats – 50 seats vacated by graduating senators and four new seats reserved for minorities. The provincial assemblies, which constitute the electoral college for the upper house of parliament, would be electing 12 senators each.
MNAs from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) would elect four while the National Assembly would elect two Senators on the federal capital seats.
The polls are likely to give the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) a majority in Senate, with more than 40 members, for the first time in the country’s history.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2012.