ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has called parliamentary board meeting on February 7 to give final touches to the applications submitted by the PPP’s aspirants for Senate tickets.

Around 125 PPP’s members have submitted applications to PPP President Makhdoon Amin Fahim for the Senate elections, who will after interviews of aspirants send final recommendation to Chairman Senate till February 8. “PPP Parliamentary Board meeting would be held at Karachi Secretariat,” said PPP Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, talking to The Nation.

According to the schedule, 21 PPP Senators will complete their tenure by March 11 and both Nayyar Bokhari, Chairman Senate and his deputy Sabir Baloch will also retire from the Upper House. PPP is presently the single largest party in the 104-member upper house.

A couple of day before, Secretary General Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had asked the candidates to send their applications to PPP President Makhdoom Amin Fahim for the Senate elections. “The PPP’s members include Faryal Talpur, Nadeem Afzal Chann, Farooq H.Naik, Noor Khan and others have submitted their applications for Senate tickets,” said sources.

PPP is also making all-out efforts to strike a deal with MQM for the upcoming Senate elections, as PPP’s Senator Rehman Malik had also held a meeting with MQM chief Altaf Hussain in London a couple of days before.

Like previous Senate polls in 2012, the sources said, PPP wants unopposed election of the Senators from Sindh and agreement with the MQM over distribution of seats on the basis of representation of the two parties in the provincial assembly, they said.

The PPP senators who are retiring in March are Jahangir Badar, Kazim Khan and Sughra Imam (from Punjab), Rehman Malik, Farooq Naek, Salim Mandviwala, Islamuddin Sheikh, Maula Bux Chandio, Abdul Qayyum Soomro, Gul Muhammad Lot and Almas Perveen from Sindh, Gulzar Ahmed Khan, Waqar Ahmed Khan, Sardar Ali Khan, Adnan Khan and Farhat Abbas (from KP), Sabir Baloch, Mir Yousuf Badini and Surriya Amiruddin from Balochistan and Nayyar Bokhari and Dr Saeeda Iqbal (from the federal capital). Among the 52 Senators retiring in March, 21 are from PPP, eight from PML-N, six from ANP, three each from MQM and JUI-F, two from BNP-A and one each from PML-Q, PkMAP and the National Party (NP).

The returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers on February 16 and 17. A final list of contestants will be published on February 25 and voting will be held on March 3.