Nawaz Sharif's PML-N wins big in Parliament's upper house polls

Casey Dawson
March 8, 2018

As many as 25 aspirants were in the run for the Senate seats from Fata.

Polling was on Saturday underway in Pakistan's four provincial and national assemblies to elect 52 members of Senate -- the upper house of parliament, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Sources confirmed to The Express Tribune that Afridi, who contested the Senate elections as an independent candidate, met former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Monday.

He claimed the PML-N lost in the Senate elections in Balochistan because of bad governance.

"PMLN now the single largest party in Senate as well, Masha'Allah", Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister's daughter tweeted, according to Reuters. The four candidates who won include Hidayatullah, Hilalur Rehman, Shamim Afridi and Mirza Mohammad Afridi. They can not use PML-N name and platform due to a recent Supreme Court which declared Nawaz Sharif ineligible to head his own party and announced that all decisions taken by him as party president stood null and void.

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Senate has 104 members elected for six years but half of them retire every three years at the completion of their term.

Pakistan's ruling party extended its hold over parliament this weekend, after a secret ballot saw the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) gaining control of the upper house. They can not use PML-N name and platform due to a recent Supreme Court verdict. Sharif has been highly critical of the courts, accusing them of conspiring to damage his party and the country's civilian leaders.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) claims to have the support of eight senators from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) for the coveted slot of chairman and deputy chairman of the Upper House of Parliament.

The official results will not immediately show how well PML-N has done because a number of candidates were barred from running under the party's banner after Sharif was removed from office.

Unlike the last Senate election in 2015, lawmakers were prohibited from taking their phones into the assemblies during the vote.

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