Majlis-e-Shura (the Parliament) consists of the President and two houses, known respectively as the National Assembly and the Senate. The Senate was constituted for the first time in 1973 under Article 50 of the Constitution of Pakistan that stipulates a bi-cameral Parliament.
Senate Elections, 2018
The term of half of the 104 members of the Senate expired on 11 March 2018. The election to fill the 52 seats being vacated by these senators was held on 3 March 2018.
Fifty of the retiring senators completed their six-year terms. Two who were elected to seats reserved for non-Muslims retired after the completion of a term of three years.
It may be recalled that four seats for non-Muslim members were filled for the first time in the election held in March 2012. Half of them retired after three years in 2015 and the other half completed a six-year term in 2018. The ECP drew lots to determine the terms of four senators elected on seats reserved for non-Muslims. As a result, two senators from KP and Balochistan retired in March 2015 and those elected from Punjab and Sindh completed six-year terms in 2018.
The polling was held in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. Most of the seats were won by political parties as expected. There was no political upset or complaints about counting of votes.
In pursuance of Article 59 of the Constitution, the election of senators from FATA is held in a manner prescribed by the President. Accordingly, the existing law is laying down that a voter (Member of National Assembly from FATA) shall have as many votes as the number of seats to be filled.
Due to the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the PML-N leadership, the candidates from PML-N were declared an independent by the ECP. Due to this change, PML-N-backed candidates won 15 seats but notified as independent candidates.
The details of seats bagged by political parties in the March 2018 Senate election are as follows:
Due to the Supreme Court decision on the disqualification of PML-N’s chief, the tickets issued by him were canceled by the ECP. Hence, the party candidates became independent. For our understanding, we can refer to them as independents backed by PML-N. Some 15 such candidates were elected in the 2018 Senate election.
After the 2018 Senate election, PML-N emerged as the largest party in the Senate although it has 15 independent senators. It now has 33 senators in the Senate (18 existing and 15 newly elected independents backed by PML-N).
Final party position in the 2018 Senate is as follows:
|Party||No of senators elected in 2015||No of senators elected in 2018||Total|
|PML-N||18||15*(independents backed by PML-N)||33|
|Independents||5||10*(excluding independents backed by PML-N)||15|
Senate seats in 2015 and in 2018
Party position after the Senate election held in 2015 and in 2018, as given in the table below, shows a major shift in the strength of some of political parties in the Upper House:
|Party||Seats in 2015||Seats after the 2018 election||Increase/Decrease|
|PML-N||26||33*including 15 independents backed by PML-N||+5|
|Independents||10||10* excluding 15 independents backed by PML-N||0|
Party position in the Senate before March 2018
List of senators retired on 11 March 2018
|No.||Senator||Status of seat||Party affiliation|
|5.||Azam Khan Sawati||General||PTI|
|6.||Muhammad Tallah Mahmood||General||JUI-F|
|7.||Baz Muhammad Khan||General||ANP|
|8.||Ilyas Ahmed Bilour||Technocrat||ANP|
|11.||Haji Saifullah Khan Bangash||General||PPPP|
|14.||Malik Najamul Hassan||General||IND|
|15.||Muhammad Saleh Shah||General||IND|
|17.||Mushahid Hussain Syed||Technocrat||PML|
|20.||Mohammad Ishaq Dar||Technocrat||PML-N|
|21.||Muhammad Zafarullah Khan Dhandla||General||PML-N|
|24.||Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa||General||PML-N|
|25.||Syed Asif Saeed Kirmani||General||PML-N|
|26.||Kamil Ali Agha||General||PML|
|29.||Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari||General||INP|
|30.||Barrister Murtaza Wahab||General||PPPP|
|31.||Hari Ram||Non Mulim||PPPP|
|32.||Karim Ahmed Khawaja||General||PPPP|
|33.||Mian Raza Rabbani||General||PPPP|
|34.||Mukhtiar Ahmed Dhamraa-Aajiz||General||PPPP|
|37.||Col(r) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi||General||MQM|
|38.||Dr,Muhammad Farogh Naseem||Technocrat||MQM|
|40.||Maulana Tanveerul Haq Thanvi||General||MQM|
|41.||Syed Muzzafar Hussain Shah||General||PML-F|
|42.||Muhammad Daud Khan Achakzai||General||ANP|
|43.||Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri||General||BNP-A|
|45.||Maulana Hafiz Hamdulllah||General||JUI-F|
|46.||Mufti Abdul Sattar||Technocrat||JUI-F|
|48.||Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail||General||PML|
|50.||Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi||General||PPPP|
|51.||Rozi Khan Kakar||Technocrat||PPPP|
|52.||Sardar Fateh Muhammah Muhammad Hassani||General||PPPP|