ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has finalised all necessary arrangements for holding Senate elections on March 3 (today) on the seats which are going to be vacant after the retirement of members on March 11.
According to an official of ECP, the polling will be held from 0900 hours to 1700 hours simultaneously in the Parliament House Islamabad, and provincial assembly buildings in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
The polling is due on two seats in Islamabad, 11 each in Punjab and Sindh, and 12 each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan that will fall vacant on the expiration of the term of the members. However, there will be no polling in Punjab as the candidates on all 11 seats were elected unopposed.
The election will be held to fill one general seat and one seat for women from the federal capital, seven general seats, two seats for women, two seats for technocrats from each province like Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and one seat for non-Muslims each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan province.
The commission has appointed Returning Officers (ROs) and Polling Officers (POs) to conduct Senate elections. The ECP made these appointments in pursuance of section 105 of the Elections Act, 2017, read with clause (3) of Article 224 of the Constitution of the lslamic Republic of Pakistan.
ECP has announced the names of duly elected un-contested candidates on various vacant seats of Senate from Punjab including Azam Nazeer Tarar (PML-N) and Syed Ali Zafar (PTI) on technocrat seat while Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur (PTI) and Saadia Abbasi (PML-N) on women seats.
The seven candidates on general seats include Kamil Ali Agha (PML-Q), Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee (PTI), Afnan Ullah Khan (PML-N), Aon Abbas (PTI), Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry (PTI), Sajid Mir (PML-N) and Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui (PML-N).
The election campaign for Senate election in the country came to an end with effect from the midnight falling between the March 1st and March 2nd, 2021. The commission has asked all the political parties and the contesting candidates to follow the provisions of law and exercise self-restraint so that the poll is held in an orderly and peaceful manner.
It is pertinent to mention here that ECP has directed all the Chief Secretaries and the Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to ensure the presence of every member of National or Provincial Assembly at their designated polling stations for casting their votes.
The commission has issued directives while exercising powers under the Articles of the Constitution as Article 220 of the Constitution read with Section 5 of the Elections Act, 2017 provides that it shall be the duty of all executive authorities in the federation and in the provinces to assist the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commission in the discharge of his or their functions.
It added it is the duty of the Election Commission to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law and that corrupt practices are guard against.