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January 23, 2015

ANP, PPP to be biggest losers in Senate election from KP


January 23, 2015

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would be the biggest losers in the coming Senate election in March as the six-year term of 12 Senators from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is about to end.
The ANP has 12 members in the Upper House of Parliament. Six of them including Afrasiab Khattak, Haji Mohammad Adeel, Zahid Khan, Abdul Nabi Bangash, Farah Aqil Shah and Amarjeet would complete their six-year term. They were elected to the Senate of Pakistan by the lawmakers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in March 2009.
Five PPP senators including Gulzar Ahmad Khan, his son Waqar Ahmad Khan, Sardar Ali Khan, Farhat Abbas and Adnan Khan, the son-in-law of the incumbent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak, would lose their seats in March this year. Ghulam Ali of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), who is a former district nazim Peshawar, will also be retiring this year on completion of his term.
Four of the eight senators from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) are also ending their terms in the Senate. They are Abbas Khan Afridi, Haji Khan Afridi, Malik Rasheed Ahmad and Mohammad Idrees Khan Safi. Some of them would try to seek re-election. In particular, Senator Abbas Afridi would try hard to be re-elected as he is a minister in the PML-N’s federal government and would like to retain his berth in the cabinet.
After the 2008 general election, the ANP and PPP secured the maximum number of seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and were able to elect more senators from the province compared to the other political parties.
In the 2013 general election, both the parties could win only five provincial assembly seats each in the 124-member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. They have the least chance to secure even a single seat in the fresh Senate polls scheduled for March.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will secure maximum number of seats in the March election. Election for 12 seats in the

Senate from the province would be held including one minority and two female senators.
The ruling PTI has 56 members in the provincial assembly but some of its dissident lawmakers can create problem for the party in secret ballot. The JUI-F and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have 17 and 16 MPAs, respectively, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and have chances of winning at least one seat in the Senate in the upcoming polls.
The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) and Jamaat-i- Islami (JI) have 10 and eight lawmakers, respectively, in the provincial assembly. The QWP would try to win a seat in the Senate through bargaining and alliance with the other parties.
The Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP), a junior coalition partner in the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, has five MPAs. The AJIP and JI can secure one seat each in the Senate polls if they made adjustment with the ruling PTI.
The combined opposition parties, having 53 members in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, can give tough time to the ruling alliance if they made adjustment with each other and came up with a workable strategy for the Senate election.

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