ISLAMABAD: Four out of 36 candidates from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) — Aurangzeb Khan, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Haji Momin Khan Afridi and Sajjad Hussain — secured seats in the Upper House on Friday, after polls were held at the Parliament House.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had issued a notification on March 16, calling upon members of the National Assembly (MNAs) from Fata to elect four Senators on general seats in place of those who finished their terms on March 11.
According to ECP officials, out of 11 Fata MNAs, only seven cast their votes, while four MNAs boycotted the elections.
Aurangzeb Khan and Taj Muhammad Afridi received seven votes each, while Haji Momin Khan Afridi and Sajjad Hussain secured six votes each.
Senate elections for Fata had earlier been postponed, when a late-night ordinance promulgated by President Mamnoon Hussain had created a controversy.
The ordinance had withdrawn the Statutory Regulatory Order of July 7, 1975, as well as a 2002 executive order — issued by former president Gen Pervez Musharraf — that gave each tribal senator as many votes as the number of vacant seats.
As a result of strong opposition by Fata legislators to the order promulgated by President Mamnoon Hussain hours before the senate polls on March 5, the ECP had cancelled elections for the four seats.
Following the last-minute ordinance, each Fata MNA could only cast one vote, unlike the previous method outlined by the ECP which allowed tribal senators to cast four votes.
But after severe criticism from all quarters, the federal government led by the PML-N withdrew the controversial ordinance, after which the ECP issued a new schedule for senate elections from Fata.