Pakistan: Senate elect opposition-backed leader

Pakistan: Senate elect opposition-backed leader

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ISLAMABAD: The Senate elected the opposition-backed candidates Sadiq Sanjrani as chairman and Saleem Mandviwala as deputy chairman of the Upper House.

According to the results, declared after the polling in the house of 103 senators, Sanjrani bagged 57 votes against 46 by Raja Zafarul Haq of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Later, the polling was held to elect deputy chairman of the Senate and Saleem Mandviwala emerged victorious with 54 votes against 44 bagged by Mohammad Usman Khan Kakar. Five senators did not cast their votes.

Soon after the results were announced by the presiding officer, the House erupted into pro-Zardari, pro-PPP slogans.

Pakistan Peoples’ Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the first one to congratulate Sanjrani. “Zia’s opening batsman defeated. Balochistan wins. Federalism wins. Congratulations Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani,” he tweeted.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan stated: “This [election of Sadiq Sanjrani] will strengthen the federation. We are happy for the people of Balochistan & for the federation of Pakistan”.

Sanjrani, then took oath from Sardar Yaqoob and assumed his office. Afterwards, newly elected chairman announced to start the process for election of deputy chairman.

The ruling party of PML-N has responded to the outcome of the senate elections in a press conference, held just after the results were announced. Marriyum Aurangzeb alongside Talal Choudhry stated that Nawaz Sharif has stood by his grounds of principles whereas all those who praised the Western democratic system were the ones to rig the elections. While, Choudhry stated that Zardari is likely to renounce all ties with Bhutto ideology soon, as well.

Earlier today, 52 newly elected senators including one against a vacant seat took oath of the office. Ishaq Dar could not attend today’s session as he is in London due to health reasons.

Sardar Yaqoob Nasar of PML-N, who was nominated by President Mamnoon Hussain as presiding officer, chaired the session and took oath from the newly elected members of the upper house, followed by signing of the roll of members.

The special Senate session began at 10:00 am today during which 52 senators-elect took oath. Later, the House was suspended to meet again on 04:00 pm today to elect Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate.

PPP, PTI and other opposition groups fielded Sadiq Sanjrani for the chairmanship and Saleem Mandviwala for deputy chairmanship.

PML-N fielded Raja Zafarul Haq for the top office, while Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) was the candidate for the deputy chairman of the ruling coalition.

It is pertinent to note that outgoing Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani was elected unopposed. As per constitutional and electoral provisions, half of the senators retire every three years.

Those newly elected Senators who took the oath included Hafiz Abdul Kareem, Ms. Abida Muhammad Azeem, Ahmed Khan, Anwer Lal Dean, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, Dr. Asif Kirmani, Behara Mand, Dilawar Khan, Faisal javed, Fida Muhammad, Maulvi Faiz Muhammad, Haroon Akhter Khan, Hidayat Ullah, Hilal-ur-Rehman, Imam Uddin Shoqeen, Kamran Micheal, Khuda Babar, Kisho Bai, Rana Mehmud ul Hassan, Rana Maqbool Ahmed,Mehar Taj Rooghani, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Ch. Muhammad Sarwar, Maula Bux Chandio, Muhammad Akram, Syed Muhammad Ali Shah Jamot, Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Muhammad Ayub, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Faroogh Naseem, Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Sadiq Sinjrani, Sardar Muhammad Shafique Tareen, Tahir Bizenjo, Talha Mehmood, Musadiq Masood Malik, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Naseeb Ullah Bazai, Nuzhat Sadiq, Qurat ul Ain Mari, Mian Raza Rabbani, Rubina Khalid, Rukhsana Zubairi, Saadia Abbasi, Sana Jamali, Shaheen Khalid Butt, Shamim Afridi and Dr. Sikandar Mindhro.

Dr. Asad Ashraf took oath on Nehal Hashmi’s vacant seat.

MQM says no to PPP

MQM-P has announced its support for Sadiq Sanjrani, however it publicly refused to vote for PPP’s Saleem Mandviwalla.

Talking to media along with CM Balochistan Quddus Bizenjo in Islamabad, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that people of Balochistan are deprived and keeping this sense of isolation in mind we decided to back Sanjrani.

We hope that our gesture will bring the people of Balochistan and Sindh’s urban centres more closer, he said.

He did not elaborate further on ditching PPP’s Mandviwalla.

‘Mission accompalished’

Talking to Geo News, senior analyst Mazhar Abbas said the mission that started with the toppling of PML-N government in Balochistan has now been accomplished. Many failed to understand the mechanisations of the powerful forces in Karachi, he said adding that split in MQM-P was part of the game.__The News

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