Pakistan News

Yaqoob Nasar set to be elected senator unopposed

Yaqoob Nasar set to be elected  senator unopposed

ISLAMABAD: Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is set to be elected unopposed as senator as both the major opposition parties – PPP and PTI – backed out of earlier announcements that they would not leave the field open for the ruling party.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), no one except Sardar Yaqoob Nasar filed the nomination papers for election to the vacant seat of Senate from the federal capital till the stipulated time on Monday.

According to the schedule announced by the ECP, the candidates were to submit their nomination papers from 9am to 4pm. Scrutiny of the papers will be held on Tuesday (today) and last date for filing appeals against the rejection or acceptance of the nomination papers is March 24. Appeals against the ECP decisions will be heard and decided on March 25.

If everything goes smoothly for Mr Nasar, he would be declared elected unopposed on the seat that fell vacant after Iqbal Zafar Jhagra took over as governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa earlier this month.

Both the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the two opposition parties, despite having no numbers to win the seat had declared that they would not leave the field open for the ruling party and would field their candidates as part of the democratic process.

The PPP had even sought applications from the aspirants for the party ticket. However, the sources in PPP said, the leadership received a cold response and did not even find a volunteer to contest the election.

When asked as to why no one had submitted papers from the party, PPP’s Farhatullah Babar said that he would give the reply only after getting it checked with the party’s general secretary Raja Pervez Ashraf, who had formally invited applications from the aspiring candidates.

However, later Mr Babar did not respond to calls.

Similarly, two leaders of the PTI, Asad Umar and Dr Arif Alvi, had said that the party would field its candidate as it did at the time of the elections of the president and the National Assembly speaker.

When contacted, Dr Alvi said that he was not aware as to why the party had not fielded any candidate, adding that he would only be able to say something after discussing the matter with the leadership.

Mr Nasar will be representing Islamabad in the Senate despite being a native of Balochistan. Sources in PML-N told Dawn that Mr Nasar had got his vote transferred from Loralai in Balochistan to Islamabad only recently to become eligible to contest the election on the general seat from the federal capital.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2016

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