| Nominees are Saifullah Khan Nyazee, Faisal Vawda, Shibli Faraz, Ejaz Chaudhry, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Dr Sania Nishtar, Fauzia Arshad, Barrister Ali Zafar, Dr Zarqa, Abdul Qadir, Mohsin Aziz, Zeeshan Khanzada, Dost Muhammad and Ms Farzana

ISLAMABAD   -  The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday nominated its candidates including some party faces for the upcoming Senate election while many bigwig aspirants for the Senate ticket either have been ignored or they are still on the waiting list. 

The PTI has finalized the names of its candidates on most of the seats for Senate, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry made the announcement through a Twitter post while giving details of the candidates. 

The party will finalize its list today (Saturday) as February 13 is the last date for filing of the nomination papers by the candidates, according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The names of other nominees will be announced later, Chaudhry also said.

Earlier, the 13-member Parliamentary Board of PTI met under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan to finalize the candidates.  

The ruling party has given the Senate tickets to many of its known faces including PTI Chief Organizer Saifullah Khan Nyazee, Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz and party’s President of central Punjab Ejaz Chaudhry.

But many of the aspirants including Adviser to PM on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar, Adviser to PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, Adviser to PM for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill, and the Secretary Information PTI Ahmad Jawad either have been ignored or they are still on the waiting list. According to a source in PTI, most of them have been ignored as there is little space left for more nominations.

PTI is set to become the single largest party in the Senate after its upcoming election that has been scheduled for March 3. PTI expects to win 21 seats or more making its total tally in the Senate to 28. PTI’s seven Senators, out of 14, are retiring on March 11 after completing their six-year term.

The list of candidates those nominated includes Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh who has been issued ticket for a seat from Islamabad and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar is a nominee from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Hafeez Shaikh is not a member of parliament and had appointed as finance minister in December last year following a judgment of the Islamabad High Court.

Under the Constitution, he cannot remain a minister for more than six months until he is elected to one of the houses. His nomination of the Senate has been made to fulfill requirement of the Constitution.

Federal Minister Faisal Vawda has been nominated on a seat for Sindh. He is member of the National Assembly and will likely to resign from the seat because he is facing a case of dual nationality before the ECP for allegedly concealing his second nationality at the time of filing his nomination papers for the election of the Lower House of Parliament. Saifullah Abro will contest from Sindh on a technocrat seat.

The other candidates nominated for the Senate include Fauzia Arshad from Islamabad while Saifullah Nyazee, Ejaz Chaudhry, Barrister Ali Zafar and Dr Zarqa have been given tickets for seats from Punjab.

The party has nominated Abdul Qadir from Balochistan.

Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, Senator Mohsin Aziz and Senator Zeeshan Khanzada who are retiring on March 11 have been again nominated from KP. The others nominated from KP, the province from where PTI would get maximum number seats in the Senate, include Dost Mohammad and Ms Farzana.  

As many 52 Senators, out of the 104-member house, are set to retire on March 11 while the election is scheduled to be held on its 48 seats.

For the first time in the country’s history, there will be no polling for the four seats of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) after its merger with KP.

The Senate election is going to be held in a heightened political temperature as the government is pushing for the open voting in the election while the Opposition has supported the old secret voting and has termed it a violation of the Constitution if the voting procedure was changed.

The government stated that it wants to ensure transparency and discourage horse-trading through open voting.

announced later, Chaudhry also said. Earlier, the 13-member Parliamentary Board of PTI met under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan to finalize the candidates.  The ruling party has given the Senate tickets to many of its known faces including PTI Chief Organizer Saifullah Khan Nyazee, Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz and party’s President of central Punjab Ejaz Chaudhry. But many of the aspirants including Adviser to PM on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar, Adviser to PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, Adviser to PM for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill, and the Secretary Information PTI Ahmad Jawad either have been ignored or they are still on the waiting list.