Unofficial and provisional results for Senate elections held on Saturday are now in. According to the information received, the PML-N is now the biggest party in the Senate after bagging the most seats in polls today.
The PPP was the runner-up in Saturday's polls, but it also lost a net six seats — and its majority — in the Upper House. Nonetheless, it certainly 'outperformed' expectations, bagging at least three seats more than were expected.
The PTI, on the other hand, managed to secure its expected number of seats and expand its presence in the Upper House with five more seats than it had previously.
Among the day's biggest losers were the PML-Q and BNP-A, which lost all representation in the Senate after a poor showing.
PML-N: 11 seats; PTI: 1 seat
According to reports from DawnNewsTV, 11 candidates backed by the ruling PML-N were elected on the 12 seats from Punjab. The competition for the 12th seat was intense, with the PTI and PML-N going down to the wire for the prized seat. The PTI eventually emerged victorious in that contest.
Candidates backed by the PML-N won six of the seven general seats from the Punjab Assembly, with PTI taking the remaining seat. Meanwhile, the PML-N swept the technocrat, women and minorities seats from the province, DawnNewsTV reported.
From PML-N, Ishaq Dar and Hafiz Abdul Karim both bagged the technocrat seats; Nuzhat Sadiq and Saadia Abbasi took the women's seats; and Kamran Michael took the minorities seat.
The PML-N's Dr Asif Kirmani, Shaheen Butt, Haroon Khan, Musadik Malik, Rana Maqbool and Rana Mehmoodul Hasan grabbed six of the seven general seats. PTI's Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar took the remaining seat.
PPP: 10 seats; MQM: 1 seat; PML-F: 1 seat
From Sindh, MQM's Barrister Farogh Naseem and PML-Functional's Muzaffar Hussain Shah were elected on general seats, DawnNewsTV reported.
PPP led the chart in Sindh, however, with outgoing Senate chairman Raza Rabbani, Mola Bakhsh Chandio, Mohammad Ali Jamot, Imamuddin Shauqeen and Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar being elected to general seats.
Sikandar Mendhro and Rukhsana Zuberi, also from the PPP, were elected on technocrat seats.
Krishna Kohli and Quratulain Marri were elected to women's seats. Krishna Kohli's election is particularly historic: she will be the first Dalit woman to sit in Pakistan's Senate.
Anwar Laal Deen was elected to the minorities seat.
PTI: 5 seats; PML-N: 2 seats; PPP: 2 seats; JUI-F: 1 seat; JI: 1 seat
PTI managed to bag five seats on its home turf, with Ayub Afridi, Faisal Javed and Fida Muhammad successfully bagging a general seat each. The PPP's Bahramand Tangi, JUI-F's Talha Mahmood, JI's Mushtaq Ahmed and the PML-N's Sabir Shah also won a general seat each.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Mehar Taj Roghani was elected to one of the women's seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while the other was taken by PPP's Rubina Khalid.
PTI's Azam Swati and PML-N's Dilawar Khan were elected to the two technocrat seats for the province, DawnNewsTV reported.
PTI-backed cleric Maulana Samiul Haq of Darul Uloom Haqqani notoriety could bag only three votes.
PML-N: 2 seats
PML-N backed candidates Mushahid Hussain Syed and Asad Junejo won both seats for Islamabad.
Independents: 4 seats
Meanwhile, four independent candidates were elected to the Senate from Fata after bagging seven votes apiece, DawnNewsTV reported. These were: Shammim Afridi, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Hidayat Ullah and Hillal ur Rehman.
Independents: 6 seats; NP: 2 seats; PkMAP: 2 seats; JUI-F: 1 seat
In Balochistan, the PML-N suffered a major blow and could not bag a single seat during the elections held for the upper house.
An alliance from the incumbent government comprising dissidents from the PML-N and PML-Q managed to get six senators elected from Balochistan. These included Anwarul Haq Kakar, Ahmed Khan, Kuhda Babar and Sadiq Sanjrani on general seats; Sana Jamali on the women's seat and Naseebullah Bazai on the technocrats seat.
Former ruling coalition partners PkMAP and the National Party got two seats each. According to results, Sardar Shafiq Tareen and Abida Omar of PkMAP, and Tahir Bizenjo and Akram Dashti of NP were elected to the Upper House.
Maulana Faiz Muhammad of the JUI-F was also elected on a general seat for the upper house.
Running for the Senate
A total of 133 candidates had vied for Senate seats in the elections, which started at 9am and continued smoothly till closing time.
The polling was held in the national and four provincial assemblies of the country.
The Senate — the Upper House of parliament — is a body of 104 lawmakers. Each senator serves a term of six years, barring resignation, disqualification, or other extraordinary circumstances. They are not all elected at the same time: rather, half are elected in one election, and the other half three years later.
In March 2018, 52 senators (who were elected in 2012) are slated to retire. The other 52 were elected in 2015 and will retire in 2021. Of the 52 Senate seats vacated for election, 46 were filled by the four provincial assemblies, 2 by the National Assembly, and 4 by lawmakers representing Fata.
Of all the candidates in the running, 20 were looking to secure one of 12 seats from Punjab, 33 were contesting for 12 seats from Sindh, 26 for 11 seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 25 for 11 seats from Balochistan, 24 for four seats from Fata and five for two seats from the federal capital.
With additional reporting by Nadir Guramani and Fahad Chaudhry in Islamabad; Ali Shah in Quetta; Shahid Ghazali in Karachi; and Sirajuddin in Peshawar.