Pakistan’s EC announces Senate elections for April 2

The polls are held to fill the seats getting vacant as sitting senators are retiring

Pakistan senate elections President Asif Ali Zardari, center left, administers the oath to federal ministers as PM Shehbaz Sharif, center right, watches during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace, in Islamabad, Pakistan | AP

Pakistan's poll season is not over yet as the authorities on Monday announced elections for the Senate, the upper house of the bicameral parliament, will take place on April 2.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the elections will be held to fill the seats which will become vacant on the retirement of half of the sitting senators on March 12.

A total of 52 senators would retire on the completion of their six-year term. However, the elections would be held on 48 seats as four of the seats have been abolished after the merger of the former semi-independent tribal regions into the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The ECP said in a press release that the Senate election would be held on April 2, adding that the nomination papers would be available from Monday and could be submitted till March 15-16.

The press release also stated that the detailed schedule would be issued on March 14, adding that the ECP finalised its preparations for the Senate elections.

The electoral watchdog added that the polls will not be carried out on four Senate seats from the tribal areas. According to the ECP, the Senate polls will be carried out on seven general seats, two women seats, two technocrat seats and one minority seat in Punjab.

It added that the elections will be contested on 12 seats in Sindh as well in the aforementioned denomination while in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the polls will only be carried out on 11 seats. The statement concluded that only two Senate seats will be contested in Islamabad.

The total strength of the Senate is 100 and relevant provincial assemblies elect senators from their provinces while those from the federal areas are elected by the National Assembly.

The upper house is representative of the four federating units and the federal capital region. The four provinces each elects 24 senators while the federal area elects four senators for the upper house.

It is a continuous body and half of its members retire every three years after completing a six-year tenure.

A senator has powers to legislate on all issues except financial matters where its powers are limited as compared to the National Assembly which enjoys exclusive powers on budget and the annual finance bill.


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