Senate results: PML-N, PPP lead, MQM-P suffers setback, PTI slams ‘horse-trading’

Senate results: PML-N, PPP lead, MQM-P suffers setback, PTI slams ‘horse-trading’

Web Desk
March 3, 2018

ISLAMABAD: PML-N and PPP won big in Punjab and Sindh respectively in the Senate elections, while MQM-P suffered setback as majority of their lawmakers either voted for PPP or stayed away from the voting.

Results were coming in after the polling for the Senate elections concluded at all the four provincial assemblies and the National Assembly to elect 52 senators for the six-year term from 133 candidates contesting in the electoral arena.

There were reports of horse-trading and defections in election of senators from Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtwnkha.

Sindh: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was the biggest beneficiary of split in the MQM-P despite last minute efforts from both the groups to at least bury their differences for the Senate polls. Farogh Naseem of MQM-P was the only winner. MQM-P is the second largest party in the provincial assembly. PPP bagged 10 seats while PML- F got one.

Islamabad: Asad Ali Junejo (General) and Mushahid Hussain Syed (Technocrat) of PML-N have been elected on two Islamabad seats.

Punjab: According to reports, out of 12 seats from Punjab, 11 PML-N backed candidates were elected, however, Ch Mohammad Sarwar was the only winning PTI candidate.

Fata: PML(N)-backed candidates Hidayatullah, Hilalur Rehman, Shamim Afridi and Mirza Afridi have been elected against four Fata seats.

Balochistan: According to unofficial and unconfirmed results from Balochistan, Independent candidates won five seats while JUI-F and National Party bagged one seat each. There were seven seats from Balochistan in total.

Candidates who have won from Balochistan include Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, Anwarul Haq Kakar, Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Yousaf Khan Kakar and Molvi Faiz Mohammad.

Khyber Pakhtwnkha: Out of 11 total Senate seats, PTI bagged five, PML-N got two, PPP won two while JUI-F and Jamaat-e-Islami secured one each from the KP Assembly.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi casting his vote. 

'Mini referendum'

Talking to media after winning his seat, PML-N's Mushahid Hussain said the results of senate  polls is a mini referendum and a victory of Nawaz Sharif's narrative. 

For Islamabad’s two seats, five candidates were in the field, for Punjab’s 12 seats, there were 20 candidates, 33 candidates were vying for Sindh’s 12 seats, 26 candidates were in the field for 11 seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 25 for Baluchistan’s 11 seats and for four seats of Fata, there were 24 candidates. Each provincial assembly will elect seven senators on general seats, two on technocrat seats and two on women seats for a total of 11 seats, while Sindh and Punjab will additionally elect a minority member each.

Polling staff counting votes after polling in Balochistan Assembly.-Online

It is widely speculated that the results at the Balochistan Assembly will greatly impact the seating position of the PML-N, which is poised for a leading position in the Upper House of the Parliament. The Senate consists of 104 seats, where half of its members will retire on March 11, leading to new political alignments inside and outside the legislatures. The ruling PML-N will be contended with its candidates vying for the Senate seats as independent candidates.

Just a day before the election exercise, the Election Commission de-notified Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) MPA Manzoor Ahmad Kakar from PB-6, Quetta-VI on the basis of defection clause under Article 63A of the Constitution, who had violated the party line and voted for Abdul Quddus Bizenjo during his election for the slot of chief minister. 

The Election Commission has also served a notice on a sitting PML-N MPA Haji Malik Waheed for breaching secrecy of vote during by-election in Punjab Assembly on March 01. 

Lawmakers casting their votes during Senate election. Photos/

The breach could cost him suspension as lawmaker. According to the report furnished by the returning officer and sent to the Election Commission Secretariat, the legislator had showed the ballot to ruling PML-N lawmaker Bilal Yasin before putting it in the ballot box. The chief election commissioner asked for issuance of a notice to Malik Waheed.

Chief Minister Punjab casting vote

The ECP has issued a code of conduct for the Senate elections, which says the members of national and provincial assemblies are required to bring along their secretariat cards in order to cast votes. In addition, mobile phones will not be allowed near the polling station. Also, vote is to be cast secretly, and those violating the secrecy will be punished on the spot.

Moreover, according to the code of conduct, the use of fake ballot paper will result in legal consequences. The returning officers, who have been given the powers of magistrates, will have the power to take immediate action if anyone is found taking the ballot paper out of the station or handing the same over to an unauthorised individual. The returning officer can also cancel the ballot paper altogether.

The Election Commission has got printed 1,600 ballot papers for Punjab, 800 for Sindh, 600 for KP, 300 for Balochistan, 800 for Islamabad and 50 for Fata. The ballot papers have been handed over to the respective returning officers.

Imran too busy to vote 

While Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, National Assembly Speaker  Ayaz Sadiq and other senior lawmakers  arrived at their respective polling stations to vote for their candidates ,  PTI chairman  Imran Khan  seems too busy to vote.

Speaking to media PTI lawmaker Shafqat Mehmood said  Khan was not likely to cast his vote due to some other engagements.

Secretary Election Commission

Election Commission Secretary Babar Yaqoob while talking to media said he has not received any complaints so far and all the candidates have expressed satisfaction over the arrangements.

Responding to a question regarding horse trading in the Senate election, he said he has not received any such complaint in this regard.

ECP members monitor polling

The Election Commission has appointed its representative to monitor the polling.

According to Geo News, four members of the ECP and the Secretary of the electoral body were monitoring the process.

The ECP has said in a statement that ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob in KPK, members of Election Commission Abdul Ghaffar Soomro in Balochistan, Shakeel Baloch in Sindh and Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi in Punjab are monitoring the polling for the Senate election.

Media coverage 

Election Commission of Pakistan has permitted the media persons to enter the Parliament House for coverage of the Senate Election.

"Media is our important pillar, media is requested to go to the press gallery as per routine," said a statement  on the website of the electoral body.

When the issue of ban on media coverage came into notice of Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza, he asked for the ban to be removed, according to the statement.

MQM factions mend fences for Senate polls

Both factions of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) just a day before the Senate elections, which is scheduled to be held today (Saturday), announced to unite for the Senate polls and announced their joint candidates.

In a joint press conference here on Friday at the National Press Club, the MQM-P (PIB Colony) leader Dr Farooq Sattar and MQM-P (Bahadurabad) leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced the names of Barrister Farogh Naseem and Kamran Khan Tessori for the general seats, Abdul Qadir Khanzada for the technocrat seat, Dr Nighat Shakeel for the women's seat and Sanjay Perwani for the minorities seat.

Though there was a consensus on four seats -- Barrister Farogh Naseem for general seat, Abdul Qadir Khanzada for technocrat seat, Dr Nighat Shakeel for the women's seat and Sanjay Perwani for the minorities seat -- yet on the name of Kamran Tessori, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui declared him as the candidate of Dr Farooq Sattar.

Chaudhry Nisar to vote for PML-N candidates in Senate polls

 Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will cast his vote for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates in Senate polls today (Saturday).

Chaudhry Nisar visited the Parliament House Friday but stayed away from the lunch hosted by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the honour of the members of the parliamentary party although he was present in the Parliament House.

He offered Jumma prayer in the mosque of Parliament House and had a brief chance of meeting with Prime Minister Abbasi in the corridor outside the Speaker’s Lounge where the lunch was served. The two had a brief chat before the Chaudhry moved ahead to the speaker’s chamber where he offered leftover prayer.

Chaudhry Nisar had a brief meeting with Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. Chaudhry Nisar, who is annoyed with the leadership of his party, had detailed meeting with Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain in his Parliament House.

Among Senate candidates, Bahramand Tangi is the poorest

PESHAWAR: There are very rich candidates in the Senate election being held, but there are also a few who are less resourceful. One such candidate is Bahramand Khan Tangi, who has been working in the development sector on a salaried job.

Bahramand Tangi may or may not win the election for the Senate being held today, but he is over the moon that the leadership of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) gave him the ticket and thus rewarded an ordinary but committed party worker.

"I am the poorest candidate among the contestants for the Senate. I feel honoured that my party leader Asif Ali Zardari chose me ahead of important and wealthy candidates and unexpectedly gave me the PPP ticket," he told The News.

Bahramand Tangi, who has remained loyal to the PPP all his life after joining it during his student life, said his selection as candidate had raised the morale of party workers and helped increase the popularity graph of the PPP in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. "On the social media, my selection has received tremendous support. Whether it is Facebook or other web sites, my candidature has been widely backed. A party worker like me getting the PPP ticket to contest for Senate is something unbelievable," he added.

Bahramand Tangi, who belongs to Tangi area in Charsadda district, is one of the 14 candidates in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the seven Senate seats. Beside him, Faisal Sakhi Butt hailing from Islamabad is also the PPP candidate for Senate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Concerning Faisal Sakhi Butt's candidature from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa even though he doesn't belong to the province, former President Asif Ali Zardari was quoted as saying in a recent TV interview that his in-laws are from Peshawar and that would help him to get at least four votes. However, the PPP has only seven MPAs, including Ziaullah Afridi who was expelled from the PTI and has now joined the PPP.

These seven MPAs aren't enough even to elect one Senator as the need for winning one seat in the Senate is 15 votes in KP. When confronted with this question, Bahramand Tangi said his party leadership has made efforts to make alliances with other parties to win Senate seats.

Sounding hopeful, he said most MPAs from other parties that he had met for seeking their votes told him that they would give him their second and third priority votes. "Some of the MPAs told me that they wanted to support me as I was a poor and committed political worker and deserved to win. "I am getting unexpected support from the lawmakers," he disclosed.


Mumtaz Alvi,  Muhammad Salih Zaafir and Asim Yaseen contributed to the report.