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January 23, 2015
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PML-N yet to invite applications for Senate election

Peshawar

January 23, 2015

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PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has yet to take any decision about the nomination of candidates from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the upcoming Senate election scheduled for March 3.
A total of 12 senators will be elected to the Upper House of the Parliament from the province to fill the seats vacated due to the retirement of Abdul Nabi Bangash, Haji Muhammad Adeel, Zahid Khan, Afrasiab Khattak, Farah Aqil Shah and Amarjeet Singh of the Awami National Party (ANP), Adnan Khan, Sardar Ali, Waqar Ahmad Khan, Gulzar Khan and Farhat Abbas of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Ghulam Ali of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).
The ruling alliance of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIT) having 56, eight and five Members Provincial Assembly, respectively, has 71 lawmakers in the provincial assembly as two independent MPAs, Jamshed Khan Mohmand and Shah Faisal, have also joined the treasury benches.
The ruling alliance has set eyes on four general and three reserved seats, including the lone minorities’ seat. The opposition having 53 members is hopeful of winning five seats and would try to secure one more.
The PML-N and JUI-F have 16 and 17 MPAs, respectively, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and they can easily win one seat each. The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) has 10 members and ANP and PPP have five each. This is enough for winning one general seat. The joint opposition can also win one seat each reserved for women and technocrats.
As per the formula, at least 16 MPAs are needed to win a general seat. For winning the seats reserved for technocrats and women, 42 votes are need. And 63 votes are required to win the only seat in the Senate for the minorities.
Keeping in view the numerical strength of the ruling alliance, it is capable of securing four general, one woman and one technocrats’ seat along with the one for minorities.
The remaining five seats i.e. three

general and one each reserved for technocrats and woman would go to the opposition. However, due to the complicated procedure any mistake on the part of treasury or opposition members can benefit the rival candidate.
The PPP and QWP have already started consultation for the polls and asked the intending candidates to submit their applications for the Senate election. Other parties, including PML-N has yet to invite applications.
PML-N provincial president Pir Sabir Shah, senior vice-president Amir Muqam and secretary general Iqbal Zafar Jhagra are the potential candidates for the Senate but it is up to the party high-ups to award the ticket.
The News tried to approach Pir Sabir Shah for knowing his party’s stance, but his cell-phone was powered off. However, the PML-N leader Amir Muqam, who is an advisor to the prime minister, when contacted, said the party had not taken any decision about the nomination of candidates. “I have no intension to contest the Senate polls, but will follow whatever decision the party takes,” he said while answering a question.
He said PML-N could easily win a general seat and also a technocrat or women reserved seat with support from the opposition parties.

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