Who will become a senator on PTI’s ticket?

Razzak Dawood, Sania Nishtar, Saifullah Niazi, Zulfi Bukhari, Shahzad Akbar, Hafeez Shaikh among expected candidates for PTI Senate ticket

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is currently finalising the list of candidates who it thinks should be given the ticket to contest the upcoming Senate elections polls. The ruling party’s parliamentary board has finalised the names of the candidates and sent its recommendations to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Imran Khan (left), Zulfi Bukhari (right).

The parliamentary board has suggested that Abdul Razzak Dawood, Sania Nishtar, Shahzad Akbar, Babar Awan, Saifullah Niazi, Zulfi Bokhari, Dr Zarqa and Nilofar Bakhtiar be awarded the tickets for the Senate elections.

The party has also decided to nominate Shibli Faraz again from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as currently Shibli Faraz working as Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting.

The names of advisor to the prime minister on Finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Kamil Ali Agha from the coalition party Pakistan Muslim League (Q) have been recommended. PM Imran Khan will approve the names of the board within a few days.

Hafeez Sheikh, PTI’s finance minister who was also PPP’s finance minister.

According to Article 92 of the constitution puts a cap on the number of Senators who can be appointed as ministers. The article reads: “Federal Ministers and Ministers of State who are members of the Senate shall not at any time exceed one-fourth of the number of Federal Ministers.”

Thus, there cannot be more than seven Senators in the cabinet. As of now, three Senators have been appointed ministers Dr Mohammad Farogh Naseem, Syed Shibli Faraz and Azam Khan Swati. The government can only name four more Senators as ministers, as per the Constitution.

On the other side, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced to release the schedule for the Senate election on February 11, 2021. It has started distributing nomination papers to prospective candidates.

Nomination papers for the two seats of the Federal Capital Territory can be taken from the ECP Secretariat at the Constitutional Avenue in Islamabad, while nomination papers for provincial seats are available at the offices of the concerned provincial election commissioner.

ECP has advised all political parties and candidates to attach party tickets while submitting nomination papers. Independent candidates, however, cannot attach party tickets.

Candidates have been asked to set up a special account for this purpose at any branch of any scheduled bank for their election expenses and mention the account number on their nomination papers. The limit of election expenses for a candidate is fixed at Rs 1.5 million.

Imran Khan with former best buddy, Jahangir Tareen.

Meanwhile, ruling party MNA Raja Riaz’s suggestion to the leadership to bring back Jahangir Khan Tareen to steer the coming Senate elections against the opposition PML-N in Punjab. While PTI leaders are opposed to the idea of Tareen’s return to the party until he comes clean of the charges of money laundering and sugar fraud levelled in the investigation report of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Although, most of the party leaders and potential Senate election candidates believe that Raja Riaz’s suggestion about Jahangir Tareen was his personal opinion and has nothing to do with the party’s ongoing discussions on the Senate elections.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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