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Pakistan

In upset for PTI, PPP's Yousuf Raza Gilani wins Senate seat from Islamabad

  • Gilani received 169 votes while Sheikh was able to muster 164 votes.
  • Independent candidate Abdul Qadir, JUI-F's Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and BNP's Muhammad Qasim have each been elected to a general seat
  • MQM's candidate for a women's seat Khalida Ateeb won with 57 votes, while PPP's Palwasha Khan also won with 60 votes
Updated 03 Mar 2021

(Karachi) After a nail biting contest, Pakistan Peoples Party Candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani has won the Senate seat from Islamabad, defeating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Hafeez Sheikh.

Gilani secured 169 votes, while his opponent Sheikh got 164 Senate votes. According to ECP, seven votes were rejected in a one-on-one contest between PDM and PTI on the general seat of the National Assembly.

Polling for 37 seats of the Senate which began at the Parliament House on Wednesday under the supervision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ended at 5pm while results are still pouring in.

On the woman seat from Islamabad, PTI’s Fauzia Arshad secured 174 votes, while opposition alliance candidate Farzana Kausar got 164 votes.

Independent candidate Abdul Qadir, JUI-F's Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and BNP's Muhammad Qasim have each been elected to a general seat.

ANP's Arbab Umar Farooq and BAP candidates Sarfaraz Bugti, Prince Agha Omar Ahmadzai and Manzoor Kakar have been elected senators from Balochistan.

MQM's candidate for a women's seat Khalida Ateeb won with 57 votes, while PPP's Palwasha Khan also won with 60 votes while PPP's Sherry Rehman, Jam Mehtab, Taj Haider and Saleem Mandviwalla have been elected as Senators from Sindh.

PTI's Shibli Faraz, Mohsin Aziz and Liaqat Khan Tarakai have won a general seat each.

As per the unofficial results, PPP's Saleem Mandviwalla, Sherry Rehman and Jam Mehtab Dhar have also been elected.

PPP's Farooq H Naek obtained 61 votes and won a technocrat seat, having won five more seats than the opponents.

Polling started at 9am and continued till 5pm without any break. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja visited the National Assembly Hall to review the polling process. Member of National Assembly Shafiq Arain was the first person to cast the vote, followed by Faisal Vawda.

NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, Prime Minister Imran Khan, PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif are among those who have cast their votes.

Balochistan

  1. Sarfaraz Bugti — BAP (General)

  2. Manzoor Ahmed — BAP (General)

  3. Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai — BAP (General)

  4. Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri — JUI-F (General)

  5. Muhammad Qasim — BNP (General)

  6. Abdul Qadir — Independent (General)

JI boycotts polls

At least 340 out of 341 lawmakers from the National Assembly cast their votes, whereas, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) decided not to take part in Senate elections.

JI's sole Member of National Assembly (MNA) Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali was not present in the Parliament during the Upper House polls.

The Returning Officer announced in the National Assembly that only one vote was left to be cast and the polling staff will wait till 5:00 pm. The results are expected to be announced at 6pm for Islamabad seats while in other assemblies the winning candidates would be announced around 7pm.

Shehryar Afridi's vote wasted

In a major setback to PTI, vote of party leader Shehryar Khan Afridi was wasted after he 'mistakenly' ticked the box of another candidate during the Senate elections. Afridi requested the ECP to allow him to recast his vote but in vain.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan is reportedly not happy with Shehryar Afridi's move. PML-N leader Zubair Umar said that Khan deliberately wasted his vote so that he couldn't vote for PTI candidates.

Similarly, Former president Asif Ali Zardari was issued another ballot paper during the voting of the Senate Elections 2021 after he wasted the first one.

As per reports, Zardari couldn't tick properly as his hand was shivering after which he requested another ballot paper. Following this, a second ballot paper was issued to Zardari and he cast the vote.

PTI leader in Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman was also barred from casting his vote after a phone was recovered from him. However, he was later allowed to cast his vote.

Tough contest

In a bid to claim victory in Senate polls, 171 votes are needed to elect a senator from Islamabad, 47 from Punjab, nine from Balochistan, 19 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 22 from Sindh.

After disqualification and withdrawal of papers by other contestants, all Senate candidates from Punjab were elected unopposed last month. A total of 78 candidates from Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad are contesting.

The candidates include 14 from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, 13 from the Pakistan People Party, two from the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz, two from MQM-P, 11 from BAP and one from TLP. Three candidates will also be contesting as independents.

A tough contest is expected for the Senate seat from Islamabad between Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who is contesting as a joint candidate of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

On March 11, a total of 52 senators in the house of 104 are set to retire. This time, the Senate polls will see the election of 48 senators. 11 senators from each from Punjab and Sindh, 12 each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and two from Islamabad.

In each province, polling will be held to elect seven members on general seats, two women and two technocrats. The election on one minority seat each in KP and Balochistan will also be conducted.