Controversy as Sanjrani becomes Senate chairman, Afridi his deputy

Presiding officer bulldozes opposition's objection to reject seven votes of Gilani

By: News Desk      Published: 10:13 AM, 12 Mar, 2021
Controversy as Sanjrani becomes Senate chairman, Afridi his deputy

The PTI-backed candidate Sadiq Sanjrani once again defied the odds to become Senate chairman yet again after a knife-edge poll.

The government benches started celebration even before the announcement of the results showing a victory of Sanjrani.

Sanjrani received 48 votes while his opponent and Pakistan Democratic Movement Yosuf Raza Gilani could get 42 votes.

There was a controversy in the vote counting as seven of Gilani’s votes have been rejected as the voters failed to stamp in the box correctly.

Farooq H Naek, the representative of Gilani, challenged the decision, however, the presiding officer rejected his objection and said the grieved party can challenge his decision in the Election Tribunal.

The presiding officer said the rules were clearly mentioned to stamp the vote in front of the candidate’s box and the voters who stamped on the name of the candidate have been rejected.

After that Sanjrani took the oath of Sanjrani as Senate chairman.

Earlier, the Upper House was bitterly divided after the discovery of spy cameras in the polling booths. JUI's Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri was the first to cast vote.

He earlier claimed that 53 Senators attended the luncheon hosted by the PDM. Candidate of the Opposition parties Yousaf Raza Gilan is facing PTI’s Sadiq Sanjrani for the Senate crown. For the election of deputy chairman, PTI’s Mirza Muhammad Afridi will take on Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the Opposition parties.

Earlier, after the oath-taking ceremony, candidates for Senate chairman and deputy chairman filed their nomination papers. Candidates for the chairman along with their seconders filed their nominations in the office of the Senate secretary after which their polling agents were appointed.

The president of Pakistan appointed Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah as the presiding officer for the election of Senate chairman.

The parties' numerical strength in the Upper House of the Parliament after the oath-taking of 48 new senators shows the vote will be a close call. After the oath-taking, the total number of senators has become 99.

Though after the recent elections the ruling PTI has become the biggest party in the Upper House still the Opposition parties have more senators.

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 and it has decided to keep itself away from Friday’s elections in Senate. There will be another four independent senators in the House, three of them belonged to Fata and one is from Balochistan.

More to follow