Pakistan 'secret ballot' sees ruling party extend parliament dominance

08 March, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • ECP takes steps to ensure peaceful Senate elections

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has assigned party leaders to contact and hold meetings with political parties including Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), FATA, Jamaat-e-Islami, PML-F, Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party.

New Senators are elected indirectly by provincial and national assemblies through proportional representation.

Despite Afridi's joining the ruling party, he will remain an independent senator unless he moves the Election Commission of Pakistan and it subsequently notifies him as a PML-N senator. The other 52 were elected in 2015 and will serve until 2021. In case of non-compliance the controlling officer will cancel the ballot paper of such persons.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) on Tuesday claimed to have won the support of eight Fata senators after a meeting of Dr Qayyum Soomro and Salim Mandviwala with the newly elected independent members.

In a statement, Shahbaz Sharif congratulated the ruling party on clinching a victory in Sargodha by-polls, and said that the public believes in PML-N's leadership and its policies.

PTI chief Imran Khan in his twitter message lambasted the election, which he said were rigged due to massive use of money.

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Officials said that 46 senators will be elected by the four provincial assemblies, 2 by the National Assembly, and 4 by lawmakers from tribal areas.

The PPP stood second with 20 members in the upper house. The party hasn't spoken about amending the constitution but it has been at odds with the judiciary since the Supreme Court ousted Sharif from power.

There were 65 independent candidates including 23 from the PML-N.

Mirza Mohammad Afridi on Monday called on PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and announced to join PML-N but today he was among those in presence. In Balochistan, a candidate needs just nine votes to become senator while in the biggest province of Punjab, 47 votes are needed to elect a senator.

Nearly all political parties have expressed dismay at the elections laws of Senate and promised to improve them.

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq cast the first vote in the elections while Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also arrived in the assembly to cast his ballot.

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