ISLAMABAD / LAHORE / MULTAN: The three major political parties in Indonesia – PTI, PPP and PML-N – have finalized their candidate names for the upcoming Senate elections, with PDM nominating Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Farhatullah Babar as consensus candidates from Islamabad.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has selected the names of 15 candidates, including Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh from Islamabad and Faisal Vawda from Sindh. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry tweeted the names of 13 candidates, while two others were named by the PTI Central Media Department.
Unlike other political parties, the ruling political parties have not yet invited formal applications from the candidates. The 11-member parliamentary council is chaired by Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
Fauzia Arshad and Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh will be the PTI candidates from Islamabad, while Saifullah Nyazee, Dr Zarqa and Attorney Ali Zafar have been named from Punjab. The remaining names will be announced later.
Likewise, Faisal Vawda will contest the Senate election from Sindh while Saifullah Abro will be the PTI candidate for the technocrat seat. The name Abdul Qadir has been finalized from Balochistan. Vawda is facing a disqualification case at the Pakistan Election Commission for her foreign citizenship.
On the other hand, incumbent Senator from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Special Assistant for Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar, Mohsin Aziz, Dost Mohammad and Farzana have been included in the final list. The names of the remaining candidates are awaited.
Of the 104 Senate members, 52 will retire on March 11 after their six-year term ends, including four of eight senators from the former tribal district. Now that the tribal district has merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, these four seats cannot be filled, which would reduce the number of Senate seats to 100.
Senate elections will be held on March 3. In accordance with the election program issued by the KPU, candidates can submit their nomination papers on February 12 and 13, 2021 at the offices of their respective returning officers.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani People’s Party on Friday approved 14 candidates for Senate elections proposing the names of former prime ministers Yusuf Raza Gilani of Islamabad and Farhatullah Babar of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as joint candidates for the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
Based on the announcement of the Bilawal DPR, PPP proposed the names of Yusuf Raza Gilani and the PPP DPR Secretary General Syed Nayyar Bukhari.
The party approved the names of Senate Deputy Chairman Salim Mandviwalla, Senator Sherry Rehman, Jam Mehtab Dehar, Taj Haider and Shahdat Awan from Sindh in the general seats. Former Senate chairman Farooq Naek, and Dr Karim Khawaja have been selected as technocrats and Ms Palwasha Khan, Ms Khairul-nisa Mughal and Ms Rukhsana Shah (cover) for women’s seats.
The PPP approved the name Azeem ul Haq Minhas of Punjab, who is the son-in-law of former prime minister King Pervez Ashraf. However, the PPP has not nominated anyone from Balochistan, as it has no members in the Balochistan Assembly.
Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf will be the proponent and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will become Gilani’s second name. PML-N’s Parliamentary Council has finalized the names of five ticket holders for the Senate elections, party spokesman Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Friday.
Advocate Aazam Nazir Tarrar will represent PML-N in the Technocrat Chair in Punjab. The party approved the names of Pervez Rashid, Mushahidullah Khan and Professor Sajid Mir, while in the women’s chair Sadia Abbasi will represent the party.
Marriyum said PML-N Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would appoint the final contestant after consultation. Meanwhile, to the media in Multan, Friday, PDM Chairman Fazlur Rehman said JUI-F had no difference with Yusuf Raza Gilani.
He said the proposed long march in the federal capital would not be held for one day but for a long period of time. Fazl said he did not participate in Saturday’s PDM rally. He said the PDM had been in contact with other allies during the Senate elections. He said Imran Khan talked about open voting, but voting was always kept secret.
“Both the bribe giver and the bribe recipient belong to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI),” he said. He said the PDM could not accept a statement from the chairman of the NAB who added that they were pawns of the existing power.
He said the PDM was not afraid of arrest adding, “A meeting has been scheduled with Asif Zardari. I will go to the Zardari House to congratulate her daughter on her marriage”. The PDM head said people from all walks of life were fed up with the incumbent government.
“People at every level went to Islamabad to protest and to accept their demands. Violence against teachers in Islamabad is state terrorism, “he added. He said they were ordered to go to the constitutional body, and they were not heard.
Fazl fears cheating in Senate elections such as in the national and provincial assemblies. He said lately no talks were being held with Nawaz Sharif. Those who have never visited a madrasa do not know the purpose for which it was founded. Madrasas already exist; the rulers’ tactics will not work, he added.