Home Latest News ECP Postpones Senate Elections in KP

ECP Postpones Senate Elections in KP

Polling proceeds as normal in National Assembly, Punjab and Sindh assemblies

by Staff Report

File photo of Pakistan Senate

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday postponed the Senate elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after opposition members filed a petition seeking the delay, as the PTI-backed provincial government continues to refuse to administer oath of office to MPAs-elect on reserved seats.

However, the Senate elections continued in the National Assembly and the Punjab and Sindh assemblies, with the ruling alliance on track to secure a two-thirds majority in the Upper House. However, the PTI is likely to remain the single largest party, as several of its senators were unelected in the previous polls and their terms have yet to expire.

There is no polling Balochistan, as all 11 senators from the province were elected unopposed.

As per the ECP’s schedule, polling commenced at 9 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m. Voting was to take place on 48 seats vacated by departing senators—11 each from KP and Balochistan; 12 each from Punjab and Sindh; and two from Islamabad. Apart from the 11 senators from Balochistan, 7 were similarly elected unopposed from Punjab, leaving 30 vacant seats against which polling is being held.

The impasse in KP stems from the provincial government’s refusal to administer oath of office to MPAs-elect on reserved seats, which it claims were “unfairly” denied to the Sunni Ittehad Council. Earlier, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had directed Speaker Babar Saleem Swati to administer oath to the MPAs-elect, he had filed a review petition against the court orders a day before the election. The ECP had, last week, warned that polling in KP could be delayed if the oath of office were not administered to the MPAs-elect as per PHC orders.

In Punjab, polling is being held on five seats, five for women; two technocrats and one minority.

In Sindh, observers have said the PPP is likely to win 10 of 12 seats—seven general, two for technocrats, two for women and one for minorities—especially as the Sunni Ittehad Council has announced a boycott of the polls, leaving the stage clear for the provincial ruling party and the MQM-P.

From Islamabad, one general and one technocrat seat is in contest.

The total strength of the Senate is 96 members—23 each from the four federating units, including four reserved seats women and technocrat each and one for minorities—and four from Islamabad.

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