The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Friday clinched both the crucial positions for the Chairman Senate and the Deputy Chairman, in a knife-edge competition against the eleven-party opposition alliance.
Sadiq Sanjrani of PTI got 48 votes against 42 of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani of PDM to win the coveted seat of Chairman Senate, while Mirza Mohammad Afridi won the seat by getting 54 votes against the 44 of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidari, a joint candidate of PDM, out of a total of 98 votes.
For the seat of Chairman Senate, a total of 98 votes were cast through secret ballot, of which eight votes were rejected. Seven of these ballot papers had a stamp on the name of the candidate and not in the required space – in front of the name of the candidate, while one ballot paper had stamps in front of the names of both the candidates.
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Senator Farooq H Naek objected to the rejection of the ballots saying it was not mentioned anywhere in the instructions where to stamp the ballot. He demanded that the votes be counted in favour of their candidate.
The presiding officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah in a ruling said keeping in view the clear instructions given for the voting, seven votes, polled for Yusaf Raza Gilani were rejected.
The ruling of the chair was welcomed by the government benches with the thumping of the desks. Later Sadiq Sanjrani took the oath of his office as Chairman for a term on the next three years. The Presiding Officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah administered him the oath of office.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami abstained from the voting process, while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Ishaq Dar was suspended by the Election Commission of Pakistan due to his absence.
The election for the Deputy Chairman was held after Sanjrani’s election, and this time around the PTI-backed Senator Mirza Mohammad Afridi won the joint opposition candidate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the JUI-F, by ten votes, reflecting that seven opposition members voted for the PTI candidate.
The newly elected Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani thanked the Senators who voted for him and again elected him as their chairman. He also thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and Jam Kamal Khan, leader of the Balochistan Awami Party, and assured to run the house by keeping everyone together.
Earlier in the day, the Senate session began with the recitation from Holy Quran.
Senator Raza Rabbani pointed that spy cameras have been installed in the polling booths and termed it a violation of Article 226 of the Constitution. These were spotted by Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar of PPP and Dr Musadik Malik of PML-N
Later it transpired that these were the CCTV cameras installed in the Senate for security purposes and the polling booth was set up in close proximity.
Senator Sayed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, who had been nominated as Presiding Officer for a special sitting of the House asked for the setting up of new polling booths.
Later Presiding Officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Presiding Officer administered the oath to the new members, who later signed the roll.
The new Senators included; Kamil Ali Agha of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Afnan Ullah Khan of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Aon Abbas of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry (PTI), Sajid Mir (PML-N) and 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).