ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday issued the final list of candidates for the Senate elections scheduled for March 3. The total number of outgoing senators is 52. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) currently holds the Senate majority, and 18 of its senators are going to retire this year. The party has nominated 17 candidates for the upcoming elections.The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has nine outgoing senators and 21 candidates in the elections – the highest number of nominees by any party. The number of outgoing independent senators is five, while 17 are in the race for the next elections, most of them from Balochistan.The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has four outgoing senators, while it has nominated a whopping 14 candidates for the upcoming elections. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has only one outgoing senator while 13 of its candidates have had their Senate nominations accepted.Three senators from Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (JUI-F) finish their senate terms this year, with the party has nominated seven for the upcoming elections. Sindh: In the Senate elections, for Sindh’s 12 seats, 33 candidates are in the run. Among those, MQM-P has 14 candidates while 12 are from PPP and three from the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). The PTI and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) will have one candidate each for seats in Sindh.There will be six candidates contesting for the technocrat seats. Those are: PPP’s Dr Sikander Mahindro and Rukhsana Zuberi; MQM’s Hasan Feroz, Dr Qadir Khanzada and Ali Raza Abidi and PTI’s Najeeb Haroon.For the general seats, PPP’s Raza Rabbani, Murtaza Wahab, Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, Maula Bakhsh Chandio, Imam-ud-Din Shauqeen, Ayaz Ahmed and Muhammad Ali Shah Jamot will contest. Whereas, Farogh Naseem, Kamran Tessori, Ahmed Chinoy, Syed Ameen-ul-Haq, Amir Chishti and Farhan Chishti are MQM-P’s candidates. The PSP has fielded Anees Ahmed, Dr Sagheer and Syed Mubashir Imam.PML-F’s Syed Muzzafar Hussain and PML-N’s Sarfraz Jatoi are also among the candidates.Punjab: For technocrat seats, PML-N’s Naseer Bhutta, Hafiz Abdul Kareem and Ishaq Dar will be the contestants. PTI’s candidate will be Asif Javed, while Nawazish Pirzada will be in the race from PPP’s platform.On general seats, PML-N’s Asif Kirmani, Musadiq Malik, Rana Mahmood-ul-Hasan, Zubair Gul, Maqbool Ahmed, Haroon Khan and Shaheen Khalid Butt will be the contestants. PTI’s Chaudhry Sarwar, PPP’s Shahzad Ali Khan and PML-Q’s Kamil Ali Agha are also among the contestants.KP: The names of 27 candidates from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to contest Senate elections against 11 vacant seats have been finalized.According to the ECP, 14 candidates will contest for general seats, eight for women seats and five candidates are in the run for technocrat seats.Those contesting on technocrat seats are: Dilawar Khan, Azam Khan Swati, Yaqoob Shaikh, Moulana Sami ul Haq and Nisar Khan.Eight candidates for women seats are: Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, Sobia Shahid, Rubina Khalid, Raeesa Daud, Shagufta Malik, Mehr Taj Roghani, Naeema Kishwar Khan and Naureen Farooq Khan. Similarly, candidates who are contesting elections on general seats include: Bahramand, Khial Zaman, Syed Sabir Shah, Abdul Latif Yousafzai, Ali Afzal Khan Jadoon, Fida Muhammad and Faisal Javed.FATA: The ECP considered 23 nomination papers as valid for Senate elections from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).According to the ECP, the commission has rejected the nominations papers of four candidates from FATA for the Senate elections.The ECP said that the final candidates for elections from FATA on general seats included: Sajid Hussain Turi, Hidayat Ullah, Shammim Afridi, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Hillal ur Rehman, Malik Najam-ul-Hassan, Shoaib Hassan, Tahir Iqbal, Abdul Raziq, Syed Akhonzada Chittan, Saleh, Faiz ur Rehman, Said Jamal, Shahid Hussain, Pir Aqal Shah, Shahban Ali, Haji Khan, Zia ur Rehman, Malik Afzal Din Khan, Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal, Farhad Shahbab, Jangriz Khan and Nizam Uddin Khan.The four candidates whose nomination papers were rejected by the commission are: Irfan Ullah, Haider Shah, Adnan Sattar and Shah Khalid.Balochistan: For general seats for Balochistan, a large number of independent candidates are contesting, including: Ahmed Khan, Anwar-ul-Haq, Hussain Islam, Sardar Shafiq Tareen, Allauddin, Fatah Muhammad Baloch, Kahda Babar and Sadiq Sanjrani.PML-N’s Ameer Afzal Khan Mandokhel, National Party’s Muhammad Akram, JUI-F’s Maulvi Faiz Muhammad, ANP’s Nazimuddin Kakar, and BNP-M’s Humayun Aziz are also among the candidates for general seats.On women seats, PML-N’s Samina Zehri, National Party’s Tahira Khursheed and JUI-F’s Azra Syed will contest. While Sana Jamali, Shama Parveen Magsi and Abida Azeem Azad will contest the election as independent candidates.Published in Daily Times, February 21st 2018.