ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: The Pakistan Peoples Party maintained its dominance in the Senate, after the party saw almost all of its candidates win their respective elections. The PPP also got a bonus as its coalition partners too did handsomely.
The PPP bagged 19 seats in Senate elections.
The Awami National Party increased its haul to seven seats while coalition partners the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Muslim League Quaid secured four seats each.
The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz saw its candidates triumph on seats contested from Punjab, securing eight seats.
However, the results of seven General seats have been withheld in Balochistan. Their votes will be recounted in Islamabad on March 5.
Regional lawmakers on Friday cast their votes for members of the Senate, the indirectly-elected upper house of the federal parliament. A vote count is currently underway.
Farhatullah Babar, President Asif Ali Zardari’s spokesperson and a senior PPP member, managed to secure his entry to the Senate on the Technocrat seat.
Those winning on the General seats include Talha Mehmud (JUI-F), Baz Mohammad, Azam Hoti, Shahi Syed of the ANP, while Ahmed Hassan, Saifullah Bangash of PPP also won. Meanwhile Nisar Mohammad of the PML-N too secured a seat in the Senate.
In the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 20 candidates were contesting for seven general, two technocrat, one woman and one minority seat from the province.
Leaders of different political parties and ministers were also present in the assembly building.
All roads leading up to the provincial assembly had been closed as strict security measures were in place to avoid any untoward incidents.
From Sindh, Hari Ram Kishori Lal of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was elected on the minorities seat, Sehar Kamran of PPP and Nasreen Jalil of MQM on the women’s seat, and MQM’s Mustafa Kamal, Tahir Mashadi and Raza Rabbani of PPP were elected on the general seat.
Hilalur Rehman, Najmul Hasan, Hidayatullah and Saleh Shah have been elected as senators from FATA.
In Punjab, Zafarullah Dhandlah (52 votes), Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa (54 votes), M Hamza (52 votes) and Rafique Rajwana (51 votes) of PML-N have won senate seats. Babar Awan of PPP also secured 47 votes to win a seat.
During the second count, Kamil Ali Agha of PML-Q won a seat.
Independent candidate Mohsin Leghari has won, causing an upset in the Punjab Assembly as PPP’s Aslam Gill loses.
Polling in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly went on for two hours above the designated time. The media was asked to leave the press gallery before voting ended. A vote count is currently underway.
Amarjeet Singh Malhotra of ANP has won the minorities seat. Zahida Khan of ANP and Rubina Khalid of PPP have won the women’s seats.
Ilyas Bilour of ANP has been elected on the technocrat seat.
Each of the four provinces will have 23 seats in the 104-member next senate, with four going to Islamabad and eight for the tribal areas in the northwest.
Some of the places are reserved for non-Muslim minorities, women, and Islamic scholars or technocrats.
Half the senate's current 100 members retire on March 12 after completing their six-year terms, and the four non-Muslim minority places are an expansion of the chamber being chosen for the first time.
At least nine candidates were elected unopposed, the official said, leaving 45 seats being contested.
Out of 371 members, around 366 MPAs have cast their votes for seven general seats of the Senate. Two seats are currently vacant as PML-N’s Shahid Mehmood Khan and Shumail Rana had resigned, and Unification Bloc leader Dr Tahir Ali Javed, Dr Asad Moazzam of PPP and Rana Babar are outside the country.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also cast his vote today. Speaking to the media, Sharif said that the PPP government is a “group of corrupt mafia”. He said that PML-N's four candidates would easily win the elections.
Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) had fielded four candidates - Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa, M Hamza, Rafique Rajwana and Zafarullah Dhandla. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has fielded two candidates - Babar Awan and Aslam Gill and Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid (PML-Q) has one candidate Kamil Ali Agha, while independent candidate Mohsin Khan Leghari also belongs to PML-Q.
Committee Room Number Two had been declared the polling booth under Returning Officer Mehboob Anwar.
"We have formed four panels for our four candidates and each panel comprises of 57 members" said PML-N's candidate Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa. However, the required number of votes for each senator is around 4,600 - which means votes of 46 MPAs, he added.
"There will be a tough competition between Leghari and Kamil Ali Agha,” Khosa said.
Punjab Assembly’s strength is 371 but with four MPs absent, a total of 367 MPAs were expected to cast their votes to select eight candidates.
PML-N has 171 MPAs with the support of 47 Unification Bloc (PML-Q's dissidents), three of PML- F, two of MMA, one of PML-Z and three independent MPAs. PML-N, keeping in view its strength, has 35 extra votes which party sources say they have decided to poll in favour of the independent candidate Leghari.
PPP has 106 MPAs, while PML-Q has 36 MPAs and both had jointly fielded their three candidates under the three panels, each panel comprising of 47 MPAs.
PPP sources had said that the party's priority would be to secure its two candidates and to ponder over PML-Q's candidate as their second option.
PML-Q's MPA and former National Assembly speaker Hamid Nasir Chatha, who proposed Leghari, had said that they have campaigned individually and hoped that this will show a positive output.
PPP's Raja Pervez Ashraf had said that Senate elections are the symbol of a democratic set up. He also said that candidates of parties with a majority in the assembly have succeeded often.
Senior Federal Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Chaudhry Shujat Hussain of PML-Q had expressed their disappointment over PML-N's covert support for Leghari. They said that despite this their candidate Kamil Ali Agha will win the Senate seat.
The results were suspended by the Election Commission officials after PML-N leaders raised objections on the victory of Awami National Party Candidate Dawood Shah and demanded a recount. PML-N leaders alleged that one of their votes had been unduly rejected. There was tough competition between PML-N candidate Nawab Shah and ANP candidate Dawood Khan. The PML-N also protested over the ANP candidate’s victory.
According to unofficial results of general seats, Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi of the PPP, Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hassani of PPP, Yousuf Baloch of PPP, Hafiz Hamdullah Saboor of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F), Mir Israr Zehri of Balochistan National Party-(Awami), Daud Khan of Awami National Party (ANP) and Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail of Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) had been declared successful after being voted by majority of the MPAs. A total 18 candidates were contesting for seven seats.
The PML-N, however, could not win a single seat since it had only two MPAs in provincial assembly.
The assembly’s total strength is 65, while only 64 MPAs were expected to cast their votes due to the absence of opposition member Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind of PML-Q.
There were a total of 38 candidates for 12 seats. Out of the 38, 17 were contesting for the general seats, seven for Ulema and Technocrat, nine for women and five for the minorities seat.
The polling was conducted under Presiding Officer Election Commission Balochistan Abdul Jabbar Jamali.
Strict security measures had been adopted with the deployment of police, Anti-Terrorism Force (ATF) and Frontier Corps (FC) at Balochistan Assembly.
PML-Q lawmakers Pir Abdul Qadir Gilani and Jaffar Mandokhail had alleged that horse trading is taking place.
Gilani had said he will vote for the PPP candidates as the PPP-led government had promised to release his funds which are stated to be around Rs650 million. He said he had not been received funding for any schemes for the past four years.
The National Party (NP) had demand that Supreme Court and Election Commission of Pakistan take suo motu notice of the horse trading.
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