Daily Times, Pakistan

By Zakir Hassnain
Published February 23rd 2003 in 35 in race for 22 Senate seats from NWFP

PESHAWAR: Three more candidates withdrew their nomination papers on Sunday, leaving 35 candidates in the run for 22 Senate seats from the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

The polling for the upper house’s 14 general seats, four reserved for technocrats, Ulema and professionals and four reserved for women will begin from 9:00am at the NWFP Assembly on Monday.

The Senate, the upper house of the Pakistani parliament that came into existence in the country in 1973, is part of the Article 59 of the 1973 Constitution. It gives equal representation to all the federating units. The number of total Senate seats after its creation was 45 - 10 for each province, three for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and two for capital Islamabad.

Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s government increased the number of tribal seats from 3 to 5. The total number of seats was increased to 87 during the Zia regime. The break-up was 19 seats for each province, 8 for FATA and 3 for capital Islamabad.

The number of Senate seats was further raised to 100 under the Legal Framework Order by the present government. The share of each province is raised to 22 seats while 4 seats are allocated for Islamabad. The number of FATA seats remains the same.

Each provincial assembly member will cast his or her vote on “single transferable vote” basis. One MPA enjoys the right to vote for 14 candidates contesting 14 general seats and four each for technocrats and women. Ballot papers for general seats, technocrats and women’s seats would be separate.

A Provincial Election Commission (EC) official told Daily Times that Qazi Muhammad Anwar, ANP candidate contesting a general seat, Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gillani, an independent candidate for a technocrat seat, and Shaheen Sardar Ali, another independent contesting a seat reserved for women, withdraw their nomination papers on Sunday.

With the withdrawal of these three candidates, now 22 candidates for 14 general seats, 6 for 4 seats reserved for technocrats and 7 candidates for 4 women’s seats are in the race. The candidates for general seats are Syed Hidayatullah Shah, Shaukat Ali Khan, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Professor Khurshid Ahmed, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Sahibzada Khalid Jan Banoori, Maulana Rahat Hussain, Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, Qazi Abdul Latif, Fazl-e-Qadar, Gul Naseeb Khan (all MMA), Asfandyar Wali Khan (ANP), Sardar Ali Khan_ (PPPP), Engineer Fazal Hussain and Khalilur Rehman (PML-QA), Shujaul Mulk and Asif Jan Khan (PPP-Sherpao), Sardar Mehtab Ahmed (PML-Nawaz), Gulzar Ahmed Khan, Waqar Ahmed Khan, Lt Col (r) Inamullah Khan Wazir and Syed Muhammad Akram Shah (independents).

Those vying for four seats reserved for technocrats are Dr Muhammad Said, Maulana Samiul Haq and Muhammad Saeed Advocate (MMA), Farhatullah Babar (PPPP), Ilyas Ahmed Bilour (ANP) and Syed Tanzimul Haq Halimi (independent).

Kauser Firdaus, Mumtaz Bibi, Musarrat Shaheen Kakakhel and Nargis Manzoor (MMA), Begum Fozia Fakharuz Zaman (PML-QA), Anisa Zeb (PPP-S) and Ayesha Mumtaz Malik (independent) are contesting women’s seats.

Initially, 54 candidates - 29 for general seats, 14 for technocrat seats and 11 for women’s seats - had filed their nomination papers with the election commission.