All you need to know about Senate Election 2024

All you need to know about Senate Election 2024


Nineteen members of the upper house of parliament are being elected today

  • ECP defers election in KP Assembly after controversy
  • PTI likely to have highest number of senators, followed by PPP and PML-N
  • A senator is elected through an intricate system of vote count
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(Web Desk) – The Pakistani parliament is likely to be complete on Tuesday (today) as it is electing members of the upper house called the Senate. 

The doubt is that the House might not be complete today as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly is still incomplete. The speaker of the KP Assembly has not administered the oath to women and minority members-elect from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on the reserved seats. 

Let’s have a look at the hustle and bustle of polling across the country. 


The upper house of parliament - the Senate - consists of 96 members. It is a perpetual house as half of its members retire after three years completing their six-year term. That is why only 48 seats are up for grabs in 2024, and the other half three years later. 

Barring resignation, disqualification or other extraordinary circumstances, each senator serves a term of six years. 


The Senate used to have 104 members, but the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the 25th amendment reduced the members from 104 to 100 in 2021, and from 100 to 96 in 2024. 

Therefore, today’s elections will see 48 new senators join the upper house; 12 each from Punjab and Sindh, 11 each from KP and Balochistan and two from capital territory Islamabad.

In Sindh and Balochistan, seven of the seats are general seats, two are for women, two are for technocrats/ulema and one is for non-Muslims. In KP and Balochistan, the same formula is followed minus the one seat for non-Muslims. In Islamabad, things are a little different, with only one general seat and one seat for technocrats/ulema. 

Although 48 seats are up for grabs, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will only conduct elections on 30 seats since 18 senators from Punjab and Balochistan have been elected unopposed.

The Senate has been dysfunctional since March 11 following the retirement of 52 lawmakers. 


To contest Senate elections, a candidate must be a Pakistani citizen, at least 30 years of age, and a registered voter of the province/region he/she is contesting from, besides fulfilling other requirements laid down in Article 62 of the Constitution. 

Polling takes place in the four respective provincial assemblies, and for the federal capital seats, polling takes place in the National Assembly. 

The Senate elections are not direct elections. Only elected members of assemblies can cast votes under secret balloting. Voters come up to polling booths and cast their vote one by one.

Also unlike the general election, the voting system used in the Senate election is not the ‘first past the post’ system. This is the system in which whoever gets the highest number of votes is declared the winner. 

Instead, the ‘single transferable vote’ system of proportional representation is used.


Under the single transferable vote system, voters cast a single ballot which mentions all the candidates the voter would like to see elected in order of personal priority or preference (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on). 

Each of these votes has a value. A quota calculated by the ECP determines how many votes each candidate needs to be considered elected.

The votes received by each candidate are tallied in each count. When a candidate receives enough votes to cross the quota, the extra value of his or her votes is transferred down to lower priority candidates (in the order mentioned by the voters). 

The candidates who receive the fewest votes are eliminated and their votes are transferred to other candidates in the order of preference mentioned by their voters.

The process of transferring votes from successful and eliminated candidates continues until all vacant seats are filled. 

The quota needed to be elected as a senator varies depending on which assembly and which seat the candidate is contesting for.

For example, for a candidate from Balochistan fighting for the general seat, the required number of votes to win a general seat is 9. 

A Senate hopeful from Punjab, on the other hand, will need 47 votes from the Punjab Assembly to win a general seat. This difference in the required number of votes is due to the different size of the two assemblies.


The former ruling party PTI is set to be the largest party in the Senate, having 20 senators at present and the potential to win seven more seats, bringing its tally to 27.

The party has, however, announced a boycott of the Senate elections in Sindh, alleging that pre-poll rigging could lead to the unopposed victory of all 12 candidates from the province, where the PPP enjoys majority. As a result, the PPP would be a close second, with 25 seats as it already has 13 seats.

The incumbent ruling party the PML-N, with a predicted total 20 seats, of which 13 are already senators, will be the third largest in the Senate.