Coalition gains ground in Senate, wins 18 out of 19 seats

PPP secures 10, MQM-P 1, Independent 1 from Sindh n PML-N wins all five reserved seats from Punjab n PML-N’s Dar, PPP’s Hassan win Senate seats from Islamabad n Polls postponed in KP over opposition members’ oath-taking dispute.

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/ KARACHI  -  The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led ruling coalition swept the elections held on 19 Senate seats on Tuesday.

Out of the 19 seats the PML-N won six seats, the Pakistan Peoples Party PPP won 11 while the Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQMP) bagged one seat, according to the unofficial results. An independent candidate Faisal Vawda also won one seat.

The voting for the 19 vacant seats was held in the National, Punjab, and Sindh assemblies while elections on 11 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s seats were postponed by the Election Commission over the dispute related to swearing-in opposition members elected to reserved seats.

With this victory, the total strength of the ruling coalition in the house now stands at 59, bringing it in a comfortable position to get any legislation passed from both the houses of the parliament.

The 96-member upper house will remain incomplete casting doubts on the election of its chairman and deputy chairman as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) postponed the Senate election on 11 seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) at the eleventh hour The electoral watchdog took the decision following controversy due to nonadministration of oath to member elected on reserved seats in the provincial assembly.

Earlier, the polling was sched­uled to be held on 30 seats of Is­lamabad, Punjab, Sindh and KP while 18 members had already been elected unopposed from Ba­lochitan and Punjab. As many as 48 seats of the house had fallen vacant after half of its members retired after completing their six-year term in the second week of March.

For the time being till the elec­tion on11 seats of KP, the Paki­stan Peoples Party (PPP) has emerged as the single largest party in the house with 24 mem­bers. The situation will however change after elections in KP.

Overall 356 lawmakers cast their votes in the upper house of parliament’s elections, where­as, votes of seven NA lawmak­ers were rejected. Pakistan Mus­lim League Nawaz’s Muhammad Ishaq Dar and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Mehmoodul Hassan on Tuesday emerged victorious in the Senate elections for the gen­eral and technocrat seats, re­spectively, in the federal capital.

Ishaq Dar secured 222 votes for the general seat, while Mehmoodul Hassan obtained 224 votes for the technocrat seat. Mehmoodul Hassan was nominated by the Pakistan Peo­ples Party for the general seat, whereas Muhammad Ishaq Dar was the nominee of the PML-N for the technocrat seat in the federal capital. Farzand Hus­sain and Raja Ansar Mehmood, representing the Sunni Itte­had Council, received 79 and 81 votes, respectively.

‘PUNJAB’

The PML-N clinched all the five Senate seats from Punjab in the Senate election held here on Tuesday. Election to two seats for women, two for technocrats, and one for minorities was held in the Punjab Assembly. A to­tal of 356 votes were cast in the Senate election. 

Anusha Rahman and Bushra Anjum Butt of the PML-N were elected on women seats while contesting against Sanam Ja­vaid of the Sunni Ittehad Coun­cil. PPP’s Senate candidate Fa­zia Malik had withdrawn her nomination papers before the contest. Anusha Rahman and Bushra Anjum secured 125 and 123 votes respectively while Sanam Javid got 102 votes. Six votes were rejected. 

For the technocrat seat, the PML-N had fielded incumbent Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb and Petroleum Min­ister Mossadiq Malik. Both won their seats defeating Dr Yas­min Rashid of the Sunni Itte­had Council. Muhammad Arang­zahab and Mossadiq Malik got 128 and 121 votes respectively whereas Dr. Yasmeen Rashid se­cured 106 votes. One vote was rejected. 

For the minority seat, PML-N’s Khalil Tahir Sindhu and Asif Ashiq of the Sunni Ittehad Council were in the running. Sindhu clinched this seat secur­ing 253 votes defeating his rival who got 99 votes. Four votes were rejected. 

In Punjab, five candidates of the ruling alliance including Pervez Rashid, Talal Chaudhry, Mohsin Nawaz, Nasser Butt, and Ahad Cheema have already been elected unopposed from the seven general seats. From the Sunni Ittehad Council, Ha­meed Khan Advocate and Raja Nasir Abbas have been elect­ed unopposed from the gener­al seats as well. 

The ruling alliance in Punjab has the overall support of 248 members in Punjab Assembly out of which 218 belong to the PML-N. The allied party of the PML-N which include PPP, the PML-Q-League, IPP and PML-Z have 14, 10, 3, and one seat re­spectively. There are 107 mem­bers of the Sunni Ittehad Coun­cil in the Punjab Assembly. One member of Tehreek-e-Labbaik voted for a minority candidate. 

‘SINDH’

The polling for 12 seats of Sen­ate from Sindh held at the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) managed to secure 10 seats, MQM-P and In­dependent got one seat each.

In all 19 candidates were in the run for elections to 12 seats including seven gener­al seats, two women, two tech­nocrats/ulema and one seat of minorities. The polling process started at 9 am, which contin­ued uninterruptedly till 4 pm. The Provincial Assembly of Sindh had been declared as the polling station for the Senate elections.

The PML-N’s numbers in the 96-member House have now risen to 19 while the PPP’s have risen to 24. It should be noted that the PTI has 20 members in the Senate.

In a post on X, Prime Minis­ter Shehbaz Sharif congratulat­ed the successful senators and said the polls were a continua­tion of the democratic process. “It is hoped that senators will play their role for the uplift of the Constitution and the devel­opment of the country

“Newly elected senators should participate in effective legislation for public welfare and national development and prosperity,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that out of 12 Senate seats from Punjab, four candidates of the PML-N, two backed by the PTI-supported Sunni Itte­had Council, and one indepen­dent candidate – Federal Interi­or Minister Mohsin Naqvi – had been elected unopposed on the seven general seats of the Senate from Punjab.

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