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EC received nomination paper for Senate seat

21 March, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan will receive on Monday nomination papers for a Senate general seat from Islamabad which fell vacant after Iqbal Zafar Jhagra took over as governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa earlier this month.

According to the schedule, candidates can submit their nomination papers from 9am to 4pm. Scrutiny of papers will be held on Tuesday and the last date for filing appeals against rejection or acceptance of nominations has been set at March 24. The appeals will be decided on March 25 and the candidates can withdraw their nomination papers by 4pm on March 26, following which the ECP will publish the final list of candidates the same day.

Polling will be held in the National Assembly on March 31. The winner will become senator for the remaining term of Mr Jhagra, until March 11, 2021.

Under the Constitution and laws, 342 members of the National Assembly are required to cast their votes to elect the members of the Senate on the four reserved seats from Islamabad. Given the party position in the lower house of parliament, PML-N appears to have no difficulty in retaining the seat.

The PPP and PTI, despite having no numbers to win the seat, have declared that they would not leave the field open for the ruling party and field their candidates.

PTI leader Dr Arif Alvi, when contacted, said the party would definitely contest the election.

He said the PTI had not yet named the candidate but it had asked three to four people to submit their nomination papers.

PPP’s Farhatullah Babar said the party had decided in principle that in future it would not leave the field open for other parties and contest all elections irrespective of results.

He said former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as general secretary of the PPP-Parliamentarians had invited applications. He said he did not know how many applications had been received by the party.

Leader of the House in Senate and PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq has said that the party would not constitute any board for selecting the candidate and the decision would solely be taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as head of the party.

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