Pak Senate election on March 2

Islamabad: Elections to 50 seats of the 100-member Senate will be held on March 2, Pakistan`s Election Commission today announced. According to the schedule announced by the poll panel, candidates can submit their nomination papers on February 13 and 14 for the or upper house of parliament.

The last date for withdrawing nominations is February 24 and the final list of candidates will be announced the same day. Fifty of the 100 members of the upper house of parliament will complete their six-year term on March 11. The Senate polls are held every three years after 50 per cent of its members retire.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the memo scandal and other political crises appeared to be part of a conspiracy aimed at blocking elections to the Senate. "The whole game is to stop the Senate polls but they will be held on time," he told reporters last night. A majority of the Senators are elected by members of the four provincial assemblies. The ruling Pakistan People`s Party is widely expected to secure a majority in the Senate in the upcoming polls.

According to an official list of the Senate, the lawmakers who are set to retire include 20 from the PML-Q, five of the PPP, seven of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, three of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, three of the Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the PML-N, Awami National Party, National Party, Balochistan National Party-Awami, Jamhoori Watan Party, PML-F, PPP-Sherpao and Pashtoonkhaw Milli Awami Party. The PML-Q will be the biggest loser in the upper house as it will be left with only one Senator, followed by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.