PML-N backed independent candidates lead Pakistan Senate’s elections

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Islamabad, March 3 (IANS) Candidates backed by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are leading in the elections to the Senate, the upper house of Parliament.

According to the initial results, PML-N-backed independent candidates bagged 11 of 12 seats in the Punjab Assembly Former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar won the Senate technocrat seat from Punjab Assembly, the Pakistani media reported.

Twenty-three PML-N candidates contested elections as independents after a Supreme Court judgement nullified all decisions taken by former PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, including issuance of party tickets.

The PML-N backed candidates also won both seats of the federal capital apart from securing four seats from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and southwestern Balochistan province.

The opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which was in control of Senate, managed to bag 10 seats from Sindh and one from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Geo News reported.

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The PML-N was expected to replace the PPP as the largest party in the upper house after Saturday’s election.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) bagged only two seats from KP, one woman and the other technocrat.

The counting of the remaining votes was underway. A total of 133 candidates were vying for 52 Senate seats in the elections that started at 9 a.m. and continued smoothly until the closing time.

The polling was held in the national and four provincial assemblies of the country.

Pakistan’s Senate comprises 23 members from each province, eight from FATA and four members from Islamabad. The Senate elections are held after every three years to elect half seats that have completed their six-year term. The last elections were held in 2015 and the next will be conducted in 2021.

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The contestants from provinces will be elected by members of provincial assemblies respectively while the aspirants from Islamabad and FATA will get votes from the members of the National Assembly or the lower house of the country’s Parliament.

–IANS

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