Pakistan lawmakers begin secret vote for senate elections

Pakistan lawmakers begin secret vote for senate elections

Pakistan lawmakers begin secret vote for senate elections

Former interior minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Chaudhary Nisar on Saturday has said that government institutions should play a practical role to tackle horse-trading during Senate elections.

Forced to run as independents by court order in the aftermath of Nawaz's ousting, expect the PML-N to rely heavily on Punjab to bring them the majority of their senate seats.

The final results will not immediately show how well PML-N has done because a number of candidates were barred from running under the party's banner following Sharif's disqualification by the Supreme Court last month.

Pointing out that PML-N had become the "single largest party in the Senate as well" Maryam lauded party members and supporters for "changing the tradition of politics" and for standing by Nawaz.

Prominent among those contesting polls from Punjab against the seven general seats from Punjab include former Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on a PTI ticket, Kamil Ali Agha (PML-Q) and PML-N-backed Asif Kirmani, Musadik Malik, Haroon Akhtar Khan and Rana Mehmoodul Hassan.

The counting of the remaining votes was underway.

Provincial and federal lawmakers voted to elect 52 Senators in the Senate elections that started at 9 AM and continued till 4 PM, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

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Various MPAs and MNAs have begun casting their votes on Saturday amid tight security in and around the parliament and all provincial assemblies.

But the trickiest situation is in Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) where 10 members of the National Assembly would elect four senators. The other 52 were elected in 2015 and will serve until 2021.

Pakistan's political parties are set to elect the members of the Senate the upper house of parliament tomorrow, amid allegations that money was being used to buy votes. He also thanked all those who voted for him.

In case of non-compliance the controlling officer will cancel the ballot paper of such persons. Some local media reports said that 131 candidates are competing now after four candidates have withdrawn from the elections in favor of some other runners. Of these, 21 are PML-N members, 14 PkMAP members, five PML-Q, eight JUI-F, 11 National Party, two from the BNP, a lawmaker each from the MWM, the ANP and the BNP-A, and one independent member.

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.

There were 65 independent candidates including 23 from the PML-N.

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