Polling underway for 52 Senate seats across 4 Pakistan assemblies

“Time will tell which school of thought will win,” he said while addressing a press conference here

Of the 52 Senate seats being vacated for election, 46 will be filled by the four provincial assemblies, two by the National Assembly, and four by lawmakers representing Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA).

At the last elections in 2015, the governing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-now under the interim leadership of ousted PM Nawaz Sharif's brother Shahbaz-won 26 seats.

Polling was on Saturday underway in Pakistan's four provincial and national assemblies to elect 52 members of Senate -- the upper house of parliament, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Pakistan's four provinces each have the same number of senate seats, but senators' votes are weighted by population. PML-N is likely to emerge the majority party in Senate after the elections. They can not use PML-N name and platform due to a recent Supreme Court which declared Nawaz Sharif ineligible to head his own party and announced that all decisions taken by him as party president stood null and void. Senate has 104 members elected for six years, but half of them retire every three years at completion of term and new Senators are elected indirectly by provincial and national assemblies through proportional representation.

Sharif has alleged he is the victim of a conspiracy by Pakistan's deep state to damage civilian power.

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Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who won a seat in the capital, Islamabad, told journalists that the win validates Sharif's political narrative with voters.

He said that Imran Khan being head of a political party must start constructive politics and should not play in the hands of those people who had no future in the national politics.

Despite the results, there is still some uncertainty over how well PML-N has done because some of the candidates were barred from running under the party's banner after Sharif was removed from office.

Under Pakistan's constitution a bill can not become law unless it is passed by both upper and lower houses of parliament.

There were reports and allegations of massive use of money and influence ahead of elections because Senators are elected by provincial and federal lawmakers and due to proportional representation, even a single vote can make a huge difference.



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