Pakistan's Ruling Party PML-N Gains Control of Upper House in Polls

The strong showing for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party could reinvigorate the political fortunes of embattled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has been at odds with the judiciary since the Supreme Court abruptly ended his grip on power last July when they disqualified him from office due to undeclared assets. "Congratulations to all democrats".

PTI chief Imran Khan in his twitter message lambasted the election, which he said were rigged due to massive use of money. This shows moral decline of our political class.

Strict security measures had been taken outside buildings of Parliament house and the four provincial assemblies which were declared as the polling stations.

Lawmakers from the four provincial assemblies and the federal parliament voted in secret on the new senators, who are due to serve six-year terms.

"I congratulate the member who has been elected as member of the Senate and also appreciate services of those who are going to be retired from the Upper House", he added. In case of non-compliance the controlling officer will cancel the ballot paper of such persons. "The newly elected Senators will elect new chairman and deputy chairman on the same day", the Chairman said while informing the Senators.

The party bagged a total of 15 Senate seats across the country, according to unofficial and unverified results, taking its total strength in the 104-member Senate to 33.

There were 65 independent candidates including 23 from the PML-N. During the meeting Afridi made a decision to join PML-N.

Last month the top court again disqualified Sharif by removing him as head of PML-N, the political party he founded. It will start at 9 am and will continue till 4 pm.

In Balochistan, a candidate needed just nine votes to become senator while in the biggest province of Punjab, 47 votes are needed to elect a senator.

According to sources, the FATA senators demanded support from the PPP regarding the rights of tribal areas in return for support for the Senate chairman and deputy chairman positions.

Nearly all political parties have expressed dismay at the elections laws of Senate and promised to improve them. "There is broad consensus that system of election for Senate is flawed and we need to improve it", Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said ahead of polls.

  • Stacy Allen