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Candidates for Pakistani Senate elections to be published


Candidates for Pakistani Senate elections to be published

Pakistan Senate
Photo: DNA India

A two-day scrutiny period for party nominees to Pakistan’s Senate elections begins today before candidates are officially confirmed for the March 3 elections.

Forty-eight seats out of Pakistan’s 104-member house will be open this election cycle, with twelve seats each designated for candidates from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eleven seats each for Punjab and Sindh, and two seats for Islamabad. In this election, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party is positioned to become the single largest party in the Senate.

However, PTI will likely not gain complete control of the Senate. Government legislation will need the support of the opposition and allied parties to pass. Several of the nominees are also political appointees and will be required to win a Senate seat to maintain their appointed positions. Failure for these candidates to secure a seat will leave the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan short on several key positions, which may exacerbate ongoing opposition calls for Khan to step down.

Expect pressure from the Pakistan Democratic Movement to increase in the short-term. To maintain stability, Khan may have to give considerable economic concessions to the opposition parties, such as removing COVID-19 lockdown measures, or face the real threat of revolt.

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