PTI will challenge the election result, says Shahbaz Gill
Pakistan MPAs and MNAs voted on Wednesday to elect members of the Senate.
The ruling PTI won 18 seats in the Senate election, according to unofficial results. Currently, it has 26 members in the upper house.
The PPP secured eight seats and the number of its members in the Senate is 20. The PML-N won five seats, making it the third-largest party in the upper house with 18 seats.
Abdul Qadir, an independent candidate from Balochistan, was declared successful in the Senate election. He was backed by the PTI and BAP.
JUI-F's Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and BNP-M's Qasim Ronjho were elected senators from Balochistan.
PPP's Palwasha Khan and MQM-P's Khalida Atyeb were declared successful from Sindh.
ANP's Arbab Umar Farooq and BAP candidates Sarfaraz Bugti, Prince Agha Omar Ahmadzai and Manzoor Kakar were elected senators from Balochistan.
PDM's Yousuf Raza Gillani was elected senator on a general seat in Islamabad. His victory came as a major setback for the government.
PM’s aide Shahbaz Gill said the PTI will challenge the election result. At least seven votes were rejected and PTI's Hafeez Shaikh lost the election by five votes, Gill noted. PTI's Fauzia Arshad won the woman's seat in Islamabad.
PTI's Sania Nihstar and Falak Naz Chitrali were elected senators from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. MQM-P's Faisal Sabzwari was elected senator from Sindh.
PTI's Dost Mohammad and Humayun Mohmand were elected senators on technocrat seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
PPP's Taj Haider and Shahadat Awan were declared successful on general seats in Sindh. Farooq H. Naek was elected senator on a technocrat seat.
PTI candidate Shibli Faraz was elected senator from KP.
Polling started at 9am and continued till 5pm. The Senate election was held through an indirect ballot as MPAs and MNAs voted for the candidates nominated by their parties.
On Wednesday, the first vote was cast by PTI's Shafiq Arain followed by Faisal Vawda. Prime Minister Imran Khan and NA Speaker Asad Qaiser voted as well.
The election was being held as 52 or almost half of all the senators completed their six-year term. Out of these, four Fata senators won't be replaced as the former tribal districts have been merged with KP.
Of the remaining 48 seats, polling was held for 37 seats as 11 Punjab senators had already been elected unopposed.
Each provincial assembly gets to elect 23 senators each because the Senate has to have an equal number of people from each province. Members of the National Assembly get to vote for two senators from the federal capital to be sent to the Senate.
All senators are not elected at the same time and the elections for the remaining senators will be held in 2024.
There are reserved seats for women, minorities and technocrats in the Senate. The rest are called general seats.
On March 1, the Supreme Court gave its opinion on Senate elections and said that it would be conducted through a secret ballot but the votes should be traceable. It instructed the electoral body to ensure that the elections are conducted “honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with the law and that corrupt practices are guarded against”. The commission must “take all available measures including utilising technologies to fulfil the solemn constitutional duty,” the judgement added.
The ECP formed a three-member committee, comprising special secretary, IT director-general and the Punjab member, to ensure the use of technology during Wednesday's polls. It could also take assistance from NADRA, FIA, and the Ministry of IT.
The ruling PTI presented a bill in the National Assembly followed by a presidential ordinance to ensure that Senate polls are held through an open ballot. The party said that it wanted to ensure "transparent" and "fair" election.
Past elections had been marred by allegations of horse-trading and parliamentarians selling their votes. In 2018, the PTI expelled its 20 members for trading their Senate votes.
There were two candidates contesting for the elections from the capital city, PTI’s Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and PPP’s Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani.
PML-N’s Farzana Kausar and PTI’s Fozia Arshad contested for the woman's seat.
Ten candidates contested elections in Sindh. Here are the names of those who contested for the general seats:
Candidates who contested for technocrat/ulema seats:
Candidates for women’s seat:
Here’s the list of candidates who stood for general seats in the Senate election:
Candidates for technocrats/ulema seats:
Candidates for women’s seats:
Candidates for non-Muslim seats:
All candidates contesting the Senate election from Punjab had been elected unopposed, the ECP confirmed on February 26.
A senator has roughly the same perks and privileges as an MNA.
In a sense, their real power lies in balancing out voting on making new laws. New laws or changes to the biggest law of the land, the Constitution, can be put forward by any house of elected representatives now. If the National Assembly comes up with a law, it can vote to pass it but it then has to send it to be approved by the Senate. And vice versa for the Senate, which has to send new laws or changes to the National Assembly after its house passes it.
The National Assembly tends to be Punjab-strong (that is why it is informally called the House of the Federation). But because the Senate has an equal number of senators from each province there is a higher chance of them either rejecting or asking for changes to, say, any new law that may put other provinces at a disadvantage. It is a system of checks and balances to prevent power from being abused.
They have no financial powers over the national budget as such. All they can do is make recommendations to the National Assembly—which can be ignored.
They have no say in the election of a prime minister. That is done by the National Assembly.