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KARACHI: The ruling coalition on Tuesday swept the elections held on 19 Senate seats while polls were postponed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the dispute pertaining to swearing-in opposition members elected to reserved seats.

Out of the 19 seats up for grabs today, the PML-N won six seats, the PPP won 11 while the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) bagged one seat, unofficial results showed.

The PML-N’s numbers in the 96-member House have now risen to 19 while the PPP’s have risen to 24. It should be noted that the PTI has 20 members in the Senate.

ECP finalises arrangements for April 2 Senate elections

In a post on X, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz said, “All PML-N senators elected. Congratulations to all.”

She expressed hope that the senators would work diligently for the development of the country and the promotion of democracy.

Elections were not held in Balochistan as lawmakers had been elected unopposed on 11 vacant seats last month.

Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar won on a technocrat seat from Islamabad, garnering 222 votes with Sunni Ittehad Council’s (SIC) Raja Ansar Mehmood coming in second with 81.

Meanwhile, PPP’s Rana Mehmoodul Hassan secured 224 votes to win the general seat in Islamabad while PTI’s Farzand Hussain Shah garnered 79 votes.

Punjab

In Punjab, all seven candidates vying for the general seats in Punjab were elected unopposed at the end of March. Today, polls were held on two women and technocrats seats each and one minority seat.

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb and Petroleum Minister Musadiq Malik were successful on the two technocrat seats, garnering 128 and 121 votes, respectively.

In Punjab, PML-N’s Anusha Rehman and Bushra Anjum were successful on two seats reserved for women, garnering 125 and 123 votes, respectively. PML-N’s Khalil Tahir Sindhu was successful on a minority seat.

Speaking to reporters earlier upon his arrival at the Punjab Assembly, Aurangzeb — who was nominated by the PML-N for the technocrat seat — had expressed his “full optimism” for being successful in the election.

Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan had also expressed the hope that the PML-N would win all the vacant seats from Punjab. He further said that coalition partner PPP was supporting his party in the elections.

Sindh

In Sindh, the ruling PPP secured 10 of the 12 seats up for grabs. The remaining two were won by the MQM-P and an independent candidate.

On general seats, PPP’s Ashraf Ali Jatoi (22 votes), Dost Ali Jessar (21 votes), Kazim Ali Shah (21 votes), Masroor Ahsan (21 votes), Nadeem Bhutto (21 votes) were successful.

MQM-P’s Amir Chishti (21 votes) and independent Faisal Vawda (21 votes) also won from a general seat. A day earlier, the PPP had decided to withdraw one of its candidates to support Vawda.

On the technocrat seats, PPP’s Zamir Ghumro (58 votes) and Sarmad Ali (57 votes) were successful. PPP’s Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani (57 votes) and Quratulain Marri (58 votes) won on two seats reserved for women.

PPP’s Poonjo Bheel (117 votes) was also successful on a minority seat.

Prior to the polls, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shahhad expressed the hope for all PPP candidates to be elected to the Senate. Speaking to the media outside the Sindh Assembly, he said that Sarfaraz Rajar withdrew his nomination papers on the party’s directives as the party was Vawda.

In an indirect reference to the PTI, CM Shah said that those who made tall claims about giving surprises in the Senate election finally retreated from the arena and boycotted the election from Sindh.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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