ECP announces Senate elections schedule, polling to be held on March 3

ECP announces Senate elections schedule, polling to be held on March 3

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday announced the schedule for the Senate elections.

According to details, the polling to elect 48 Senators will be held on March 3.

As per the ECP schedule, the initial list of candidates will be released on February 14 and scrutiny of nomination papers will be completed by February 17.

The last date for filing of appeals against acceptance or rejection of papers is February 18.

The ECP said that the date for disposal of appeals is February 20 and the revised list of the contestants will be issued later on February 21.

The commission further said that the candidates can use option of withdrawal of candidature till February 22.

The polling will be held to elect 48 senators, including 12 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa (KP), 12 from Balochistan, 11 from Punjab, 11 from Sindh and 2 from Islamabad.

Polling will be held to elect 7 members on general seats, 2 women and 2 technocrats in the four provinces. Besides, the election on one minority seat each in KP and Balochistan will also be conducted.

It is pertinent to mention here that total of 52 senators in the house of 104 are set to retire on March 11 after completion of their 6-year term. They will also include 4 of the 8 senators from the erstwhile Federally Adminis­tered Tribal Areas (Fata). As the seats representing Fata will not be filled due to merger of the tribal areas with KP in May 2018, the Senate strength will shrink to 100.

Over 65 % of the senators who are retiring after completing their 6-year constitutional term belong to the opposition parties.

However, the senators belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) may double in numbers after the elections to reach 28 from existing 14.

Meanwhile, opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is likely to be the biggest loser in terms of representation in the Senate as 17 of its 29 senators will retire next month and the party would be able to retain just 5, taking the total strength to 17.

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) strength in the Senate will slightly come down from 21 to 19.

Moreover, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-P (MQM-P) will be the only loser among the allies of the ruling party, with its party’s strength slipping down from 5 to 3, however, PTI’s another ally, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), will gain more seats as the number of its senators will increase from 10 to 13.