The voting process through secret ballot has begun for Senate elections on 37 seats at the Parliament House which will be continued till 5:00 pm today, on Wednesday.
The lawmakers from the National Assembly has started arriving in the Parliament House to cast votes. Shafiq Arain of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was the first lawmaker who cast his vote in the Senate elections followed by PTI’s Faisal Vawda.
Moreover, PTI’s Omar Ayub and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi have also cast their votes.
Returning Officer (RO) issued directives to the lawmakers to cast vote for the candidates using digits on the ballot papers. The ballot paper will be considered as rejected one if a lawmaker writes in double digits.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) barred all including voters, candidates and polling agents to carry mobile phones or camera in the Parliament House, whereas, the NA lawmakers will have to show the card issued from the assembly for getting ballot papers.
White-coloured ballot papers will be used to cast vote for candidates on the general seat and purple-coloured ballot papers will be for reserved seats for women.
According to the instruction letter issued by the ECP, the vote will be rejected if an identification mark of the voter appears on the ballot paper.
The voting process has begun at the Parliament House Islamabad and the provincial assemblies of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) at 09:00 am and will continue till 5:00 pm without any break.
There will be no polling in Punjab as all the candidates for three categories — seven general and two seats each reserved for women and technocrats — were elected unopposed last week.
There are a total of 72 candidates contesting the 2021 Senate polls from the federal capital and the three provinces.
Two senators will be elected from the federal capital, eleven from Sindh 12 from Balochistan and 12 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
In the federal capital, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh of PTI and Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) are vying for the general seat whilst for the women seat, Fauzia Arshad of PTI and Farzana Kausar of PML (N) are in the field.
Around 25 candidates are in the field for twelve seats of Senate from KP, 26 from Balochistan and 17 from Sindh province.