An undated image of the Senate hall. — Facebook/Senate
An undated image of the Senate hall. — Facebook/Senate

LAHORE: Ahead of Senate election, slated for April 2, seven personalities linked to different political parties have been elected unopposed as senators from Punjab on Wednesday.

Those who have been elected as senators without facing any contest include Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Pervaiz Rasheed, Nasir Mehmood and Talal Chaudhry.

Subsequently, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Ahad Cheema have also been elected unopposed as  senators. Moreover, Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC)-backed Raja Nasir Abbas, and Hamid Khan were also among the newly-elected parliamentarians.

On technocrat seat, Mustafa Ramday withdrew his nomination papers, whereas, Shahzad Waseem, Musadik Malik, Walid Iqbal, and Umar Ijaz Cheema took back nominations from general seats.

Earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced holding the Senate elections on April 2 in order to fill 48 vacant seats.

Fifty-two seats in the upper house of parliament will fall vacant after the expiration of the 6-year term of the incumbent senators next week. The elections, however, would be held to elect 48 senators as 4 reserved seats for the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) had been abolished after the 25th Constitutional amendment.

Polling would be held to elect members against seven general seats, two women, two seats for technocrats, including Ulema and one seat for non-Muslims from Sindh and Punjab.

In addition to this, lawmakers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan would elect members against seven general seats, two women and two seats for technocrats, including Ulema.

Members of the National Assembly will elect one general seat and one seat for technocrats, including Ulema from the federal capital, it added.

Moreover, the top electoral body also appointed returning officers (ROs) in Islamabad and the four provinces for the conduct of the Senate election.

According to a notification issued by the election watchdog earlier in the month, ECP Director General Training Saeed Gul will be the Returning Officer (RO) in the federal capital, whereas provincial election commissioners Aijaz Anwar Chohan, Sharifullah, Shamshad Khan, and Muhammad Farid Afridi will be returning officers in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan, respectively.

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