ISLAMABAD, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's ruling party the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has outnumbered rival political parties in the Senate elections, according to local media and party officials.
An official from the ruling party said that as many as 15 candidates supported by the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif won in the election held on Saturday.
The PML-N secured 11 of 12 seats in the Punjab province, two from northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province and two from capital Islamabad.
Previously, local media reports said that the PML-N won 18 seats, but the party officials had denied it.
The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) led by the country's former President Asif Zardari stood second by seizing 12 seats, including 10 from southwestern Sindh Province and two from KP Province.
Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) managed to secure six seats, including five from KP Province and one from Punjab.
No other political party could secure more than two seats. However, as many as 10 independent candidates managed to win the election, including six from southwest Balochistan Province and four from northwest Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced results of FATA, Islamabad and KP, which matched to the media reports and party officials' claims. The ECP is likely to announce remaining final official results later.
According to the reported results, the PML-N has become the leading party in the Senate with total 33 seats after adding up the fresh and previous seats in the upper house.
Shahbaz Sharif, newly appointed chief of the PML-N, said on his Twitter account that the victory of the party in the Senate polls was actually the success of millions of people of Pakistan.
The PPP, which was leading the Senate by having a majority, has dropped to the second position with 20 seats whereas the PTI is the third strongest party in the chamber with total 12 members.
However, a party's position might be further changed if some of the total 10 independent elect-senators opt to shun their neutrality.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, which ruled the country from 2002 to 2007, has been completely wiped out of the house as it failed to win a single seat.
The Mutahidda Qaumi Movement, the fourth largest party in the lower house and second largest in the Sindh Province, appeared as the biggest loser after it surprisingly win only one seat.
Pakistan's Senate comprises 23 members from each province, eight from FATA and four members from Islamabad. The Senate elections are held after every three years to elect half seats that have completed their six-year term. The last elections were held in 2015 and the next will be conducted in 2021.
The contestants from provinces are elected by members of provincial assemblies respectively while the aspirants from Islamabad and FATA get votes from the members of the National Assembly or the lower house of the country's parliament.
Ayaz Amir, former parliamentarian, said that Saturday's senate elections gave a split mandate as no party could take a big lead, adding that the leading party PML-N will have to make alliances to win the slot of Senate Chairman.
Aftab Bajwa, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, said the victory in the Senate would greatly support PML-N in the legislation in the coming months as it has already a two-thirds majority in the lower house.
Pakistan's Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, who is secretary-general of the PML-N, said, "We are humbled by the victory in Senate election 2018. PML-N becomes the single largest party in Senate... PML-N will work harder to serve Pakistan."
The elected candidates will take oath as Senators on March 12.