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Pakistan ruling party secures majority Senate seats

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 2,IRNA -- Pakistan ruling party on Friday secured majority seats in the Senate and has emerged as the single largest group in the Upper House of the parliament in nearly 15 years.

A total of 50 senators in the 104-member Senate will retire on March 12 after completing their six-year term and elections were held to fill the vacant seats.

Polling was held for 45 seats as nine have already elected unopposed on special seats.

Pakistan People Party (PPP) secured 19 seats while the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), secured 8 seats, according to the unofficial results.

The Pashtoon nationalist Awami National Party (ANP) won seven seats.

The Urdu-speaking Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) secured four seats each.

The MQM, ANP and PML-Q are partners of the PPP in the ruling coalition.

Five seats were secured by five independent members which include four from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas or FATA.

The Islamic party Jamiat ulema-eIslami (JUI-F) bagged four seats and the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Awami) secured two seats.

Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Functional) bagged one seat.

A total of 98 candidates representing mainstream political parties and several independent took part in the contest.

Four provincial assemblies and the National Assembly, or Lower House of the parliament, were the Electoral College for the Senate elections. The Senate has equal representation from four provinces.

Provincial assemblies elected senators from their respective provinces while members of the National Assembly from the tribal regions elected four Senators from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas or FATA.

The Senate had a total of 100 seats and four special seats for religious minorities have been increased under a last year's constitutional amendment.

The polling started at 9 am local time and continued till 4 p.m. without any break.

Counting was started immediately after the voting and unofficial results were announced in respective assemblies.

The Election Commission (EC) monitored the election in the provincial assemblies and the National Assembly.

The newly-elected senators will replace 50 outgoing senators who will retire on March 12 after completing their six-year term.

The EC on Thursday declared nine candidates as uncontested winners and polling was held for 45 seats, including for four newly-added minorities seats.

The PPP has now emerged as the single largest party in the Senate and will enjoy majority for three years until elections of half of the vacant seats.

The PML-N, headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will be the major opposition in the Senate.

Following is the party position in the Senate after the Friday’s election: PPP – 41, PML-N 14, ANP-12, MQM-07, JUI-F-07, PML-Q-05, BNP-Awami-04, National Party-01, PML-Functional-01, and Independent-12.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80019645

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