Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Fouzia Arshad are among the candidates the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has chosen for the Senate elections to be held on March 3.

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter and announced that the party has picked the candidates.

He tweeted that Dr Sheikh and Fouzia are among the hopefuls from Islamabad. The party has decided to field Faisal Vawda and Saifullah Abro from Sindh, the latter on a technocrat seat.

Saifullah Niazi, provincial spokesperson Dr Zarqa and Barrister Ali Zafar are the nominees from Punjab, while the remaining candidates will be named soon.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Mohsin Aziz, Dost Mohammad, PM’s aide Dr Sania Nishtar and Farzana Rauf are among the PTI candidates.

The ruling party expects to bag 21 seats in the upcoming election in upper chamber of the parliament, but that number is far short for dominance in the 100-member Senate. Though the PTI will become a majority party, yet it will face stiff fight from opposition.

Half of the Senate members will retire on March 11 on completion of their six-year term, leaving 48 seats up for grabs. At present, the Senate has a total of 104 members, half of whom retire every three years. As the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas merged with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the four seats reserved for it cease to exist after elections.

The Pakistan People Party (PPP) is expected become the second-largest party after its expected 19 seats, followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz with 17. The two components of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance will be there to give the PTI a tough time.


Meanwhile, the PPP board established for Senate elections has finalised the names of its candidates.

The board named Jam Mehtab Dehar, Taj Haider, Saleem Mandviwala, Sherry Rehman and Shahdat Awan candidates from Sindh.

For technocrats’ seat, Farooq Naek, Shahdat Awan and Karim Khawaja are the PPP candidates.

Palwashah Khan and Khairun Nisa Mughal will be candidates for women’s seat with Rukhsana Shah as covering candidates.

The PPP board named Azeem-ul-Haq Minhas its candidate from Punjab.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Farhatullah Babr is the joint candidate of the PDM and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is the PDM consensus candidate from Islamabad.

Joining the opposition alliance is the Balochistan Awami Party with 13 seats, making life even tougher for the ruling party.

The PTI expects to win 10 seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, six from Punjab, two each from Sindh and Islamabad, and one from Balochistan. It will make the total 21. With seven members still in the house, the total count will be 28.

Eight of the PPP senators will retire on March 11 and it is expected that it will lose two of them — all from Sindh. This will reduce its strength from 21 to 19.

The biggest loser in the elections will be the PML-N. Seventeen of its senators will retire – all from Punjab. It is expected to bag only five seats and its strength will be reduced to 17. The PPP will dethrone it as the largest opposition party as its number will be lesser than the PPP.

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam is expected to maintain its strength. Two of its senators, one from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the other from Balochistan, will retire and the party is expected to retain both the seats.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement may lose two seats. Four of its five senators will retire and it is expected to regain two seats.

Following the retirement of Sirajul Haq, the Jamaat-i-Islami will have only one member in the Senate.


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