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Polling underway for 30 vacant Senate seats in Pakistan

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Islamabad, April 2: Polling was underway on Tuesday in Pakistan to elect 30 senators after their seats in the upper house of Parliament became vacant last month.

At least 52 members of the Senate fell vacant in March after the incumbents retired after a six-year term.

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The Senate comprises 96 members, including 23 each from four provinces and four from the federal capital region of Islamabad. Those from provinces are elected by the respective provincial assemblies while the National Assembly elects one Senator from the Islamabad region.

The Senate is a continuous body as half of its members retire after three years and new ones are elected.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had announced plans to hold polls on 48 seats as four seats of senators who were elected from tribal regions were abolished after the region was merged with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of the country.

Before the merger, eight senators were elected from the federally administered tribal areas called Fata.

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Already 18 senators were elected unopposed, including all 11 senators from the Balochistan province and the rest from Punjab and Sindh.

Polling began at 9 am and will continue till 4 pm without any break.

Polling was being held at the National Assembly hall for the election of two senators.

Ishaq Dar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), part of the ruling coalition, and Raja Ansar Kayani of Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), a major opposition party, are vying for the technocrat seat while for the general seat, the competition is between Rana Mahmood ul Hassan of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), supporting the ruling coalition, and Farzand Hussain Shah of Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

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In Punjab, voting was being held on two women and technocrats seats each and one minority seats of women in the province.

In Sindh, polling was going on for 12 seats including seven general seats, two women, two technocrats/Ulema and one non-Muslim seat in the province.

Meanwhile, in KP province polling for elections on 11 senate seats could not be started due to controversy over the oath-taking of members elected on reserved seats.

Stakes are high as the ruling alliance of PML-N and PPP is expected to gain two-thirds majority in the upper house, which will play a crucial role in case of any amendment in the constitution as a two-thirds majority is needed in both houses for the same. (PTI)

 

 

 

 

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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