Senate elections underway in Pakistan

08 March, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • PML-N gains control of Senate, say media

While the move is an anticipated one, keeping in view that FATA senators tend to tilt towards the ruling party after elections, it is pertinent to note that parliamentarians from the PML-N had abstained from voting in Senate polls for FATA held on March 3.

Mirza Muhammad Afridi had won the elections for the upper house of the parliament by securing 7 votes, a notification for which was issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan as well.

He said that there were tall claims of victory by the opposition before Senate elections, but all of their claims could not prove true and the PML-N emerged victorious. "Senate elections yet again witnessed shameful horse trading where MPAs bought and sold their votes as country witnessed this sale of their "elected" people to highest bidder".

Strict security measures had been taken outside buildings of Parliament house and the four provincial assemblies which were declared as the polling stations. The newly-elected senators are due to serve six-year terms.

The 52 Senators retiring this month were elected in 2012.

Earlier, officials said that 46 senators will be elected by the four provincial assemblies, two by the National Assembly, and four by the lawmakers from tribal areas.

The PPP stood second with 20 members in the upper house. There are 65 candidates who are independent and they also include 23 from ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).

PML-N has not spoken about amending the constitution, but it has been on a collision course with the judiciary since the Supreme Court ousted Sharif from power. During the meeting Afridi made a decision to join PML-N.

Unlike the last Senate election in 2015, lawmakers were prohibited from taking their phones into the assemblies during the vote. The trickiest situation is in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) where 10 members of the National Assembly would elect four senators.

Nearly all political parties have expressed dismay at the elections laws of Senate and promised to improve them.

The deposed prime minister also urged for accountability of those involved in horse trading and used money in the Senate elections.



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