2021 Pakistani Senate election

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2021 Pakistani Senate election

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48 of the 100 seats in the Senate of Pakistan
51 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party Third party
Leader Shahzad Waseem Yousaf Raza Gillani Raja Zafar-ul-Haq
Leader's seat General Punjab General Islamabad Technocrat Punjab
Last election 15 21 29
Seats won 26 21 18
Seat change Increase11 Decrease11

Chairman before election

Sadiq Sanjrani

Elected Chairman

Sadiq Sanjrani

The 2021 Pakistani Senate election was held on 3 March 2021. The Election commission of Pakistan announced the election schedule on 11 February 2021. 52 of the 104 Senators had retired on 7 February 2021.[1] After the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, FATA seats were abolished and there was no election on 4 of the 8 seats. The rest of the 4 seats will be abolished in 2024.[2] Official results of the Senate Elections were announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan on 10 March 2021.[3]


2021 election was being conducted amidst an anti-government drive by a coalition of opposition parties, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). The PDM leaders had earlier threatened to resign en masse from the provincial and national assemblies, and refused to take part in the Senate elections but later relented.[4][5]

In the lead up to the elections much of the debate surrounded the secrecy of ballot that is observed in the Senate elections, which has always led to allegations of vote trading.[6] The government moved a conditional presidential ordinance and later sought the opinion of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to conduct the elections via open ballot.[7][8] The Supreme Court, in its judgment, maintained that the elections should by held via secret ballot but their secrecy is not absolute and that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should employ the latest technology to ensure "that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law and that corrupt practices are guarded against."[9] ECP, in response to the Court's directives, stated that this year's elections will be conducted as per past practice due to the dearth of time.[10]

A night before the election, a video emerged that showed Ali Haider Gillani, son of Yousaf Raza Gillani, lobbying for his father's election bid and showing three government lawmakers how to void their votes.[11] An audio recording also surfaced, with Nasir Hussain Shah giving assurances to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers who had allegedly sold their votes.[12]


Overall, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) became the largest party in the Senate as it won the most seats, securing 18 of the 48 senate seats up for election; of which 10 came from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5 from Punjab, 2 from Sindh, and one from Islamabad. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) came in second by winning 8 seats, of which 7 were won in Sindh and one in Islamabad. Balochistan Awami Party was declared victorious on 6 seats - all from Balochistan. Finally, the Pakistan Muslim League (N) lost its majority in the Senate as it could only manage 5 seats from Punjab against 16 retiring senators.[13]

After the results were declared, much of the focus was on the Islamabad General seat won by PPP's Yousaf Raza Gillani where he beat PTI's incumbent finance minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, by a margin of 5 votes.[14] Although, Gillani was the opposition's joint candidate, he still did not have the required majority unless those on the treasury benches voted for him or intentionally voided their votes in the secret ballot. This fact, coupled with the leaked video of his son, led to PTI petitioning the Election Commission of Pakistan against his victory.[15]

Meanwhile, Gurdeep Singh of the PTI, became the first Sikh to be elected to the Senate of Pakistan as he won the minority seat from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.[16]

Abdul Qadir, who had won as an Independent from Balochistan, later joined the PTI, increasing the tally of the party to 26 in the Senate.[17]

Parties Votes % Seats
Total in
Up Won Total
G W T M Total
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) 12 8 9 4 4 1 18 25 +13
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) 21 8 6 1 1 0 8 21
Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) 29 16 3 1 1 0 5 18 –11
Balochistan Awami Party 10 3 3 1 1 1 6 13 +3
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) 4 2 2 0 1 0 3 5 +1
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) 5 4 1 1 0 0 2 3 –2
Awami National Party 1 1 2 0 0 0 2 2 +1
National Party (NP) 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 –3
Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 –1
Jamaat-e-Islami 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 –1
Balochistan National Party 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1
Pakistan Muslim League (F) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Pakistan Muslim League (Q) 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 +1
Independents 10 7 1 1 0 0 2 5 –5
Valid votes
Blank and invalid
Total 100 104 52 29 9 8 2 48 100 -4
Registered voters / Turnout

Results by Administrative Unit[edit]

The successful candidates for each of the seats were declared on 10 March 2021.[22]


Seat Type Winners
General Saifullah Niazi


Aon Abbas Bappi


Ejaz Chaudhary


Afnan Ullah Khan


Sajid Mir


Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui


Kamil Ali Agha


Technocrat Syed Ali Zafar (PTI) Azam Nazeer Tarar (PML-N)
Women Zarqa Suhrawardy (PTI) Saadia Abbasi (PML-N)
Seat Type Winners
General Sherry Rehman


Saleem Mandviwala


Ali Shah Jamote


Taj Haider


Shahadat Awan


Faisal Vawda


Faisal Subzwari


Technocrat Farooq Naek (PPP) Saifullah Abro (PTI)
Women Palwasha Mohammad Zai Khan (PPP) Khalida Ateeb (MQM-P)
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Seat Type Winners
General Mohsin Aziz


Liaqat Khan Tarakai


Shibli Faraz


Faisal Saleem Rahman


Zeeshan Khanzada


Hidayat Ullah Khan




Technocrat Dost Muhammad Khan (PTI) Muhammad Hamayun Mohmand (PTI)
Women Sania Nishtar (PTI) Falak Naz (PTI)
Minority Gurdeep Singh (PTI)
Seat Type Winners
General Mohammad Abdul Qadir


Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai


Sarfaraz Bugti


Manzoor Ahmed


Umer Farooq


Abdul Ghafoor Haidri


Muhammad Qasim


Technocrat Saeed Ahmed Hashmi (BAP) Kamran Murtaza (JUI-F)
Women Samina Mumtaz Zehri (BAP) Naseema Ehsan (Independent)
Minority Danesh Kumar (BAP)

Federally Administered Unit[edit]

Seat Type Winners
General Yousaf Raza Gillani


Women Fawzia Arshad


Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman[edit]

Two candidates apiece, from the opposition and treasury benches, contested the elections on 12 March 2021. Treasury candidates, Sadiq Sanjrani and Mirza Muhammad Afridi, won the elections for their respective seats.[23]

Candidate Contesting for Party Votes Obtained Supported by
Sadiq Sanjrani Chairmanship BAP 48 checkY Treasury Benches
Mirza Muhammad Afridi Deputy Chairmanship PTI 54 checkY
Yousaf Raza Gillani Chairmanship PPP 42 ☒N Opposition Benches
Abdul Ghafoor Haideri Deputy Chairmanship JUI-F 44 ☒N


  1. ^ "Why Sanjrani should quit?". www.thenews.com.pk. 2019-07-12. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  2. ^ FATA: abolished and merged
  3. ^ Pakistan, Election Commission of (2021-03-10). "2021 Senate Election Official Notification" (PDF). Election Commission of Pakistan. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-04-24. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  4. ^ "PDM's confusion over resignations persists". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  5. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (2021-02-11). "PDM lauded for taking part in Senate polls". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  6. ^ "Senate election: Defence minister warns opposition against horse-trading". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  7. ^ "President Alvi signs off on ordinance to hold Senate polls through open vote". DAWN.COM. 2021-02-06. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  8. ^ "Govt to move Supreme Court over Senate polls this week". The Express Tribune. 2020-12-21. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  9. ^ Bhatti, Haseeb (2021-03-01). "SC says Senate elections to be held through secret ballot under Article 226 of Constitution". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  10. ^ Chaudhry, Fahad (2021-03-02). "Senate elections on March 3 to be held as per past practice: ECP". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  11. ^ Qureshi, Raiq (2021-03-02). "ECP should disqualify Gillani after his son's video leak: Fawad". Associated Press Of Pakistan. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  12. ^ "Leaked audio reveals Nasir Shah giving assurance to 'sold' PTI lawmakers". ARY NEWS. 2021-03-02. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  13. ^ "PTI makes substantial gains in Senate but suffers major setback in lslamabad". DAWN.COM. 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  14. ^ "Yousaf Raza Gillani beats PTI's Hafeez Shaikh in Senate race". Pakistan Observer. 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  15. ^ "PTI approach ECP to stop Gilani's Senate victory notification". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  16. ^ Jamal, Sana. "PTI's Gurdeep Singh makes history by becoming first Sikh to win elections in Pakistan Senate". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  17. ^ "Senator-elect Abdul Qadir joins PTI, reposes confidence in PM Imran Khan". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  18. ^ "PTI makes substantial gains in Senate but suffers major setback in lslamabad". DAWN.com. 2021-03-04. Archived from the original on 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  19. ^ "Senate Election 2021: PTI emerges as largest party, but victory bittersweet". Geo News. 2021-03-03. Archived from the original on 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  20. ^ Pakistan, Election Commission of. "Senate Elections 2021". Election Commission of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  21. ^ Pakistan, Election Commission of (2021-03-11). "2021 Senate Election Official notification" (PDF). Election Commission of Pakistan. Election Commission of Pakistan. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-04-24. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  22. ^ "Notification of Returned Candidates" (PDF). Election Commission of Pakistan. 10 March 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-04-24. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  23. ^ Guramani, Nadir (2021-03-12). "Defying numbers, PTI-backed candidates win coveted Senate chairman and deputy slots". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2021-03-13.