Opposition accuses Punjab govt of rigging Senate elections

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PTI MPA Shoaib Siddiqui said he has registered protest with the presiding officer.
LAHORE (Dunya News) – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday accused the Punjab government of rigging in Senate Elections 2018.

PTI MPA Shoaib Siddiqui alleged that members of the ruling party led by Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah stormed the polling booth. He claimed that the members are sneaking out ballot papers after casting empty votes in the ballot boxes.

“Election result should be declared null and void if empty slips recovered from ballot boxes,” he demanded.

The PTI member said he has also registered protest with the presiding officer.

The election for 12 Senate seats from Punjab started at the Punjab Assembly on the scheduled time of 9 am on Saturday and will continue uninterrupted till 4 pm. Provincial Election Commissioner Sharifullah was presiding the election process, and the Punajb Assembly Hall has been declared polling station by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Some 20 candidates including those backed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid e Azam (PML-Q) are vying for 12 seats.

As many as 7 general, 1 non-muslim, 2 technocrat and 2 women seats are up for grab from Punjab for a six year term.

PML-N candidates are contesting Senate election as independent candidates due to the removal of PML-N leader Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as party President by ECP as per the court’s verdict.

Two non-muslim candidates Kamran Michael and Victor Azariah are in the run for one (1) non-muslim Senate seat; Five (5) candidates including Ch Naseer Ahmad Bhutta, Hafiz Abdul Karim, Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Muhammad Nawazish Ali Pirzada and Malik Muhammad Asif Javaid are contesting for two (2) technocrat seats; three (3) women Saadia Abbasi, Andleeb Abbas and Nuzhat Sadiq are in the run for two (2) women seats; while 10 candidates including Ch. Muhammad Sarwar, Dr Asif Kirmani, Rana Mahmood ul Hassan, Zubair Gul, Shaheen Khalid Butt, Shahzad Ali Khan,Kamil Ali Agha,Musadik Masood Malik, Maqbool Ahmad and Haroon Akhter Khan are contesting against seven (7) general Senate seats from Punjab.

PML-N has an overwhelming majority with 310 MPAs in a house of 371 and is expected to win 11 Senate seats from Punjab, while the opposition parties are trying to clinch one Senate seat with a numerical presence of 30 PTI MPAs, 8 MPAs each from PPP and PML-Q, 1 MPA each from Jamat e Islami (JI) and Pakistan National Muslim League and 5 independent MPAs.

Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan was the first to cast his vote in the Punjab Senate election.

The Law Minister,while talking to media outside Punjab Assembly, claimed that PML-N will sweep Senate election from Punjab, adding that the PML-N has a clear-cut numerical majority to win 11 seats.

As per ECP rules, 45 votes are required to clinch 1 Senate seat from Punjab.

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