Senate set for high-octane contest
Members to elect chairman, deputy Friday: Gilani faces Sanjrani for chairman’s slot, Haideri to take on Afridi for deputy’s seat: Numbers give Opposition an edge
The Senate, Upper House of the Parliament, will hold its much-awaited session on Friday (tomorrow) where the 48 newly-elected senators will take the oath but will also take part in the election of chairman and deputy chairman in what appears to be a nail-biting contest, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Thursday.
The Opposition parties have nominated Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri for the Senate chairman and deputy chairman seats while from the government’s side Sadiq Sanjrani and Mirza Muhammad Afridi are the candidates.
The Senate session will start at 10:30 am after which the sitting chairman, Sadiq Sanjrani who is also the PTI government’s candidate for the top Senate slot, will administer the oath to the 48 newly-elected senators.
After the oath-taking ceremony, candidates for Senate chairman and deputy chairman will file their nomination papers. Candidates for the chairman along with their seconders will file their nominations in the office of the Senate secretary.
The parties' numerical strength in the Upper House of the Parliament after the oath-taking of 48 new senators could become a dicey one. After the oath-taking, the total number of senators will be 99.
If there was no “hanky-panky” witnessed in the polling process, the candidates of the Opposition parties are poised to win.
After the joining of an independent senator, the number of PTI senators has risen to 27. If one takes a look at the PTI’s allied parties, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) has 12 senators, MQM three, PML-Q one and the GDA has one. Their total strength soars to 44.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will be the second biggest party in the House. Its strength will be 21 after the inclusion of an independent senator from Fata in it.
In the new Senate, the number of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) members will be 17. JUI-F will five senators, ANP and National Party will have two senators each, BNP-M will have two senators and PkMAP will have one senator. The total strength of the Opposition parties will be 50.
Jamaat-i-Islami also has one senator but it is not yet clear which side he will vote for.
There will be another four independent senators in the House, three of them belong to Fata and one is from Balochistan.
The newly elected senators, who will take oath on Friday included Kamil Ali Agha, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Afnan Ullah Khan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Aon Abbas Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry (PTI), Sajid Mir (PML-N), Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui (PML-N), Azam Nazeer Tara (PML-N) and Syed Ali Zafar (PTI), Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur (PTI), Saadia Abbasi PML-N, Mohsin Aziz (PTI), Liaquat Khan Tarakai, (PTI), Syed Shibli Faraz (PTI), Hidayatullah Khan (ANP), Faisal Saleem Rehman, (PTI), Atta-ur-Rehman (JUIP) and Zeeshan Khan Zada (PTI), Dost Muhammad Khan (PTI), Muhammad Hamayun Mohmand (PTI) , Sania Nishtar (PTI), Falak Naz (PTI), Gurdeep Singh, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani (PPPP) , Fawzia Arshad (PTI), Sheher Bano Sherry Rehman (PPPP), Syed Faisal Ali Sabzwari (MQM-P), Saleem Mandviwala (PPPP), Taj Haider (PPPP), Muhammad Fesal Vawda (PTI), Shahadat Awan (PPPP), Jam Mahtab Hussain (PPPP), Farooq Hamid Naek (PPPP), Saifullah Abro (PTI), Palwasha Mohammed Zai Khan (PPPP), Khalida Ateeb, Muhammad Abdul Qadir, Muhammad Qasim (BNP), Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri (JUIP), Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai (BAP), Umer Farooq (ANP), Manzoor Ahmed (BAP), Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti (BAP), Kamran Murtaza (JUIP), Saeed Ahmed Hashmi (BAP), Samina Mumtaz (BAP), Naseema Ehsan (Independent), and Danesh Kumar (BAP).