Senate elections: Deadline for submission of nomination papers extended

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The Election Commission of Pakistan has extended the deadline for the of the for 2021 to February 15.

The elections, on March 3, will take place simultaneously in National Assembly and all four provincial assemblies between 9am to 5pm.

The commission said that it will be mandatory for the candidates to submit the party ticket with their nomination papers. Here’s the updated schedule announced by the commission:

  • February 16: Final list of applicants to be announced
  • February 17, 18: Scrutiny of nomination papers
  • February 19, 20: Applications on papers to be submitted
  • February 24: Final list of candidates come out
  • February 25: Candidates allowed to withdraw applications

The ECP had received complaints from multiple candidates regarding the schedule. They claimed that they are facing problems with getting their bank account details.

The commission has announced returning officers and polling
officers for Islamabad and all four provincial assemblies.

ECP Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal will be the returning officer for Senate elections in the National Assembly, while Shamshad Khan, Shahid Iqbal, and Asif Ali Yaseen have been appointed polling officers.

Sindh Election Commissioner Ijaz Anwar Chohan will be the returning officer in Sindh Assembly, Punjab Election Commissioner Ghulam Israr Khan in Punjab Assembly, KP Election Commissioner Shareefullah in KP Assembly, and Balochistan Election Commissioner Muhammad Razzaq in Balochistan Assembly.

The Senate has 104 senators at this moment in time. The election is being held because the terms in office of 52 or almost half of Pakistan’s senators are coming to an end in March. This includes the deputy chairman of the Senate, Saleem Mandviwalla of the PPP. Mandviwalla’s three years as a senator are up.

With Mandviwalla’s term as a senator expired, his seat as deputy chairman will also be up for grabs. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would definitely want one of its own to become the next deputy chairman.

Over the weekend, President Arif Alvi signed the Elections Ordinance 2021 which paved the way for open balloting in the Senate.

This is a vote by a show of hands as opposed to people voting secretly. (The president may have signed the ordinance (or law) but it can only be used if the Supreme Court says so.)

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