PPP ‘steals’ PML-N’s thunder - Pakistan Today

PPP ‘steals’ PML-N’s thunder

  • PPP pulls surprise victories in KP, Balochistan as MQM-P’s Sattar alleges horse-trading in Sindh

  • PML-N secures 15 seats, PPP follows closely with 12

  • Govt-backed candidates win 11 out of 12 seats in Punjab, lose one to PTI’s Sarwar

ISLAMABAD: In spite of facing major setback in the wake of the disqualification of its chief, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) retained its hold on electoral politics by clinching 15 Senate seats, whereas the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) turned out to be a dark horse as it secured 12 seats in the Upper House.

According to the unofficial results of the much-awaited elections, the PML-N leads the polls, PPP came second, while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came third with six senators.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) performed poorly as it could only get one out of its five expected seats; National Party and Pakhtunkhwa Awami Milli Party and Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam won two seats each. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) also managed to secure one seat each.

PUNJAB:

Punjab remained the bastion of Nawaz’s party as out of 12, the candidates backed by the ruling party easily grabbed 11 seats, while the PTI managed to secure one seat through Chaudhry Sarwar. Surprisingly, Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar of PTI won securing record 44 votes for the general seat.

PML-N-backed Dr Asif Kirmani, Shaheen Butt, Haroon Khan, Musadik Malik, Rana Maqbool and Rana Mehmoodul Hasan grabbed six of the seven general seats. While PTI’s Ch Sarwar won the remaining.

In the categories of Technocrat and Women, PML-N swept the polls. Ishaq Dar and Hafiz Abdul Karim were elected on Technocrat seats while Nuzhat Sadiq and Saadia Abbasi bagged the women seats.

In minority category, Kamran Michael emerged victorious.

SINDH:

Like its rival in Punjab, the PPP made most of the Senate polls in Sindh. Out of 12 seats, the party led by Asif Ali Zardari grabbed a lion’s share of 10 seats, while MQM and PML-F could only secure one seat each.

PPP’s Raza Rabbani—outgoing Senate chairman—, Mola Bakhsh Chandio, Mohammad Ali Jamot, Imamuddin Shauqeen and Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar were elected to general seats; Sikandar Mendhro and Rukhsana Zuberi on Technocrat seats, while Krishna Kohli—first ever Dalit woman in Senate— and Quratulain Marri became senators on women’s seats.

In the minority category, Anwar Laal Dean was elected to the minority category.

It may be mentioned here that the MQM-P was hoping to secure five seats in the polls, but Dr Farogh Naseem of Bahadurabad group will be the only senator it will have in the Upper House. Dr Nasim won the seat after the RO recounted the votes six times which gave a bit of face saving to the party, as a large group of the party reportedly voted for the PPP candidates.

Dr Farooq Sattar claimed that seven of his party lawmakers had voted for PPP candidates as PPP’s Mukesh Chawala brought them to the assembly in his car in a secretive manner so that they could cast their votes.

Moreover, PML-F’s Muzaffar Hussain Shah was elected in the general category.

KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA:

The ruling party in KP, which was hoping to secure six seats in the province, won five seats.

PPP and PML-N won two seats each, while JI and JUI-F could secure only one seat each.

In the general category, PTI’s Ayub Afridi, Faisal Javed and Fida Muhammad, PPP’s Bahramand Tangi, PML-N’s Sabir Shah, JUI-F’s Talha Mahmood and JI’s Mushtaq Ahmed emerged victors.

In the women’s group, PPP’s Mehar Taj Roghani remained successful; whereas the candidate of the PML-N, Dilawar Khan, and PTI’s Azam Swati won the Technocrat seats. PTI-backed JUI-S chief Samiul Haq lost the elections.

PPP managed to do well in the province, as it accomplished to maneuver at least 34 votes with only six MPAs in the KP assembly. PTI’s rebel Ayesha Gulalai also admitted that she voted for the PPP.

BALOCHISTAN:

In Balochistan Assembly, the independent group backed by the PPP swept away elections, depriving the PML-N of at least five of its seats. Reportedly, over 17 members of the PML-N violated party discipline and voted for the independents. Interestingly, no PML-Q candidate was in the run despite five of the party’s MPAs.

The ruling group—an alliance of the PML-Q and PML-N’s disgruntled members—six seats, NP and PkMAP won two seats each, while the JUI-F managed to clinch a single seat from the province.

In General category, ruling clique’s Anwarul Haq Kakar, Ahmed Khan, Kodah Babar and Sadiq Sanjrani, JUI-F’s Faiz Muhammad, PkMAP’s Sardar Shafique Tareen, NP’s Akram Dashti, Tahir Bizenjo were victorious.

Ruling’s group Naseebullah Bazai was victorious in the Technocrat category, while in the Women category, ruling group’s Sana Jamali and PkMAP’s Abida Umar became senators.

The JUI-F won two seats including Maulvi Faiz. M Akram Dashti; and Tahir Bizenjo won on National Party tickets. Former Chief Minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri did not cast his vote among others. Naseebullah Bazai won on technocrat seat.

ISLAMABAD:

From the federal capital, PML-N backed independent candidates won on General and Technocrat seats as Asad Junejo got 214 votes on the General seat, while Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed won the Technocrat seat by obtaining 223 votes.

FATA:

The election for four seats of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) remained one-sided as FATA alliance comprising of Hidayatullah, Hilalur Rehman, Shamim Afridi and Mirza Mohammad Afridi swept elections. PTI’s Engineer Hamidul Haq had predicted that these four candidates would win the elections, alleging that the federal government had used the money to grab votes from the lawmakers.

IMRAN, 35 PML-N MNAs SKIP POLLING:

The elections took place in a serene atmosphere as the lawmakers complied with the Election Commission of Pakistan’s code of conduct. Tight security measures were taken across the country in the polls that seen 153 candidates contesting for 52 seats.

Many of the top lawmakers did not turn up to cast their votes in Islamabad, including PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Awami Muslim League chief Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed, MQM-P chief Dr Farooq Sattar and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervez Elahi. They remained absent from the polling as they thought voting would be an exercise in futility due to a majority of the PML-N lawmakers in the NA.

Furthermore, at least 35 PML-N lawmakers did not turn up to cast their votes as well, including two federal ministers Jam Kamal and Abdul Qadir Baloch. Moreover,

MNAs Raza Hayat Heraj, Dr Nisar Jutt, Mian Tariq, Basit Bukhari, Sultan Hinjra, Mir Zafarullah Jamali, Tahir Iqbal Chaudhry and others did not turn up. Begum Kalsoom Nawaz was also absent as she has not taken oath besides her treatment abroad.

WHO WILL LEAD THE SENATE:

Due to PPP’s extraordinary performance, it reportedly secured enough seats to bring its number to 20 as against PML-N’s 33 in the house. But with independent candidates in the picture, this remains an open-ended competition as the PPP has started efforts to win the support of the dissident group in Balochistan.

It has even sent a delegation to Balochistan where it will meet the CM Quddus Bizenjo and the winning senators. On the other hand, the PML-N will try to secure the support of the senators from FATA to strengthen its hold against the PPP.

However, it remains to be seen as small parties, such as NP, PkMAP, JUI-F, MQM-P, besides PTI, will play a crucial role in the number game, which will decide who will head the Senate.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]



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