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Senate Elections Set for April 2

Lawmakers to elect senators on 48 vacant seats

by Staff Report

File photo of Pakistan Senate

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday announced it would conduct the Senate elections on April 2 to fill 48 vacancies left by the completion of the tenures of incumbent senators.

In total, 52 seats in the Upper House are falling vacant today (Tuesday), with the expiration of the 6-year term of incumbent senators. However, with the abolishment of four reserved seats for the erstwhile tribal areas after the 25th Amendment, only 48 seats would be contested in the upcoming polls. Until the next elections, the Senate would remain largely dysfunctional, as it is lacking half its numbers.

In a statement, the electoral watchdog said it would issue an official schedule for the elections on March 14. It said elections would be held for seven general, two women’s and two technocrat/ulema seats from each province, as well as two reserved for non-Muslims, one each from Punjab and Sindh. Additionally, two senators would be elected from the federal capital; one on a general seat and the other in the technocrat/ulema category.

The ECP said nomination papers would be available from the Election Commission Secretariat in Islamabad as well as the provincial elections commissioners of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Candidates would be required submit their nomination papers to their respective returning officers on Friday and Saturday.

Of the 52 senators who have stepped down, eight belong to the PTI; 12 to the PPP; and 12 to the PMLN. The rest are from smaller parties or were elected as independents.

Separately, the ECP announced it would conduct by-elections on six vacant Senate seats on Thursday (March 14). It said polling would be held at the Upper House of Parliament as well as the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies in Karachi and Quetta. These seats include two in Sindh; three in Balochistan and one in the federal capital.

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