ISLAMABAD – 52 newly-elected Senator took the oath of their office on Monday morning, while members of the Parliament’s upper house are currently voting to elect their new chairman.
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The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s backed Sadiq Sanjrani, an independent candidate from Balochistan, had submitted his nomination papers for Senate chairmanship, while PPP’s Saleem Mandviwala had filed papers for deputy chairman.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and allies have selected Raja Zafarul Haq and Usman Khan Kakar as their candidates for Senate chairman and deputy chairman respectively. The selected candidates have filed their nomination papers.
A polling booth has been set up inside the parliament, while 53 votes are required to bag victory.
Following the election, the Senate chairman will take oath, and will then swear in his deputy. After the oath-taking, the session will be adjourned until further notice.
The PML-N and independents backed by the party have 33 members in the Senate following the March 3 election.
If one adds the party’s allies — five senators of the PkMAP, five of NP, four of JUI-F and one from PML-Functional — then the count goes up to 48.
The PML-N and its allies claim that they are ahead in the numbers game, and are certain of support from five senators of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), two of eight from FATA and one each from the Awami National Party and Balochistan National Party (Mengal).
If the PML-N indeed gets support from these nine senators, then the party will have a total of 57 members. However, the PPP is also confident of having the required number of votes to get Sanjrani elected.
A total of 53 votes are needed to win the posts. Former finance minister Ishaq Dar did not take oath as he is in London for medical treatment. Dr Asad Ashraf, who won Senate by-polls recently, also took oath of his office.