ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday announced the schedule for the Senate election for 54 seats and said polling would be held on March 2.
As many as 50 senators, half of the total present strength, are to retire, including 11 from each of the four provinces, four from Fata and two from the federal capital. However, after the 18th Amendment, Senate’s strength has been increased to 104, including four seats for minorities.
Members will be elected in place of incumbent lawmakers of the Senate, who are due to retire after the expiry of their term of office on March 11. The biggest gainer in the electoral process will be the PPP, likely to increase its majority to at least 45 senators, whereas the biggest loser will be the PML-Q as its strength will be depleted to a mere five senators from 21.
The legislators of the provincial assembly of the Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan will elect seven members from general seats, two members from the seats reserved for women and two members for the seats reserved for technocrats, including Ulema, from each of the provinces, an ECP statement said here.
Members of the National Assembly will elect to the Senate one member against the general seat and the other member against the seat reserved for technocrats, including Ulema, from the federal capital.
Legislators from the National Assembly from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will elect to the Senate four members against the general seats. Similarly, members of the provincial assembly from the Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan will elect to the Senate one member from the seats reserved for non-Muslims, from each of the four provinces.
Candidates will file their nomination papers with returning officers on February 13-14; papers scrutiny will be on February 16-17 to be followed by filing of appeals against rejection of nomination papers with the ECP secretary on February 20-21. Disposal of appeals will be on February 22-23. The last date for the withdrawal of candidature is February 24 while polling will be held on March 02.