A total 170 candidates have filed nomination papers from across the country for 48 seats of Senate, says the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
According to the data, 70 candidates, including 44 belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), filed nomination papers on Monday, the last date for submission of the papers.
As many as 12 PTI candidates from Sindh, including the two earlier approved candidates, Faisal Vawda and Saifullah Abro, filed nomination papers on the last day.
There are only 11 independent candidates, nine from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two from Balochistan, in the run. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is leading the nominations as 51 candidates filed papers, followed by Balochistan with 41, Sindh 39, Punjab 29 and 10 from Islamabad. Of them, 87 have filed papers for 29 general seats, 33 for eight seats reserved for technocrats/ulema, 40 for nine reserved seats for women, and 10 are vying for two seats of minorities from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The ECP issued directives on Monday making it mandatory for the proposers and seconders of the candidates to appear in person before the returning officer (RO) at the time of scrutiny of the papers. Otherwise, the papers would be rejected summarily by the RO, the ECP warned.
According to the amended election schedule, the names of nominated candidates will be published on Tuesday (today) and the scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on Feb 17 and Feb 18. Appeals against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers can be filed on Feb 19 and Feb 20 and decision on appeals will be announced on Feb 22 and 23. A revised list of candidates will be published on Feb 24 while Feb 25 has been set as the last date for withdrawal of candidature. The election will be held on March 3.
As many as 52 senators are set to retire — 50 per cent of the 104-member house — on March 11 after completing their six-year tenure. However, this time there will be no polling for the four seats of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) after its merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Therefore, polling will be held to elect 48 senators — 12 each from KP and Balochistan, 11 each from Punjab and Sindh and two from Islamabad. Polling will be held to elect seven members on general seats, two women and two technocrats in the four provinces. Besides, the election on one minority seat each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan will also be held.