Polling underway to elect 37 senators

ISLAMABAD: Polling for the Senate elections 2021 in the National Assembly and three provincial assemblies is underway to elect 37 lawmakers for the upper house.

All the eleven candidates for Senate from Punjab have already been elected unopposed while candidates from Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federal Capital will be elected today.

Two senators will be elected from the federal capital, 11 from Sindh and 12 each from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 52 senators in the upper house of 100 are set to retire on the 11th of this month after completion of their six-year term.

The real test of the PTI would be in Sindh Assembly where some of its lawmakers have announced to cast vote against the party lines.

Epic contest

Former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Minister for Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh are contesting elections on the general seat from the Federal Capital while Farzana Kausar from PML-N and Fozia Arshad from PTI are contesting on woman seat.

Polling time started at 09:00am which will continue until 05:00pm without a halt. The Election Commission has displayed a list of instructions outside the polling station (hall of National Assembly).

PTI MNA Mian Shafiq Arain polled the first vote while Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda polled the second vote.

Other prominent figures who have cast their votes so far include Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad and Minister for Communications Murad Saeed.

Code of conduct

According to the code, the members of the National Assembly are required to bring their secretariat cards along in order to cast votes.

In addition, mobile phones or cameras are not be allowed near the polling station. Also, vote is to be cast secretly.

The candidates, polling agents of the contesting candidates are present inside the polling station along with Election Staff. Outside the polling station, a copy of the list of contesting candidates has been displayed.

According to the Rule 111 of the Election Rules 2017, each voter shall carry with him an identity card issued to him by the Secretary of the Assembly of which he is a Member and shall, if so required, show the same to the Returning Officer before a ballot paper is issued to him.

The Returning Officer shall, after satisfying himself about the identity of the voter and after ensuring that he has not already voted, put a tick mark against the name of the voter in the list of voters, enter the name of the voter on the counterfoil of the ballot paper and, after stamping the ballot paper on its back with the official mark and initialing it, hand it over to the voter.

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