Pakistan Senate to elect its chairman on Friday – Times of India


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Senate will meet on Friday to elect its chairman and deputy chairman through a secret ballot following the oath taking of its 48 newly-elected members.
Elections for the Upper House of the Parliament were held on March 3, days ahead of retiring of its members on March 11.
According to the Senate Secretariat, the session will meet in the morning for oath-taking of the newly-elected senators after which the session will be adjourned.
After the adjournment of the session, nomination papers for the chairman and deputy chairman will be submitted and the session would resume in the evening to elect them.
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of 11 Opposition parties, has fielded former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for the post of chairman and Maulana Ghafoor Haidri of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) for deputy chairman.
Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), with the support of its allies, has nominated Sadiq Sanjrani for chairman and Mirza Mohammad Afridi for deputy chairman. Sanjrani has competed for three years as a chairman.
A tough competition is expected between the two sides in the house of 100. The winner will need to get a simple majority of 51. The PDM claims that it has support of 51 senators. Similar claims have been made by the government.
The two sides have been blaming each other for using money and other tactics to woo lawmakers to support their candidates.
PTI had challenged in the Election Commission of Pakistan the victory of Gilani, who contested the polls as a PDM candidate, as a Senator on the basis of alleged fraud, urging it not to issue notification of his election.
Gilani defeated PTI candidate and Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh by securing 169 votes. Shaikh, whose loss has been a big blow to Prime Minister Khan as he had personally campaigned for his Cabinet colleague, got 164 votes.
Senators are elected for six years but half of them retire after three years. A new chairman and his deputy are elected after three years to run the house.

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