Opposition bags top upper house slots


Sanjrani elected as Chairman, Mandiwalla Deputy Chairman; PML-N losses despite being majority in Senate

Sophia Siddiqui


Opposition-backed Sadiq Sanjrani and Saleem Mandiwalla, joint candidates of the PPP and the PTI, have been elected as Chairman Senate and Deputy Chairman by wining 57 and 54 votes respectively and later sworn in of their new responsibilities. The polling process for the selection for the top slots of Senate began at 4pm in the evening of Monday.
The PML-N candidate for Chairman Raja Zafarul Huq got 46 votes while Usman Kakar, candidate for deputy Chairman bagged 44 vote out of 103 total votes.
According to details, the session which was presided over by Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob made the announcement following which supporters of winning candidate thumped the desk. No vote was rejected. The Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf supported Sadiq Sanjrani.
Presiding Officer Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Nasir administrated the oath to the new elected Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani on Monday.
PPP’s Saleem Mandiwalla got 54 votes, while Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar of PKMAP secured 44 votes. In all, 98 votes were cast with no ballot rejected.
Earlier, Fifty-two of fifty-three newly elected Senators took oath. Senator Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir, who was nominated by the President to chair the session administered oath to the new members.
They included a member elected from Punjab against the seat vacated due to disqualification of Nehal Hashmi. Ishaq Dar, who is under treatment abroad, could not attend the session. After oath-taking the new members signed the roll of the house.
Sadiq Sanjrani who belongs to Chaghi in Balochistan was nominated by Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo for the Senate top slot. He was born on April 14, 1978 in Balochistan’s Nok Kundi town. Sanjrani obtained his early education from Chaghi and later received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Balochistan.
Mandiwalla, born on January 25, 1959, graduated from Fort Worth School of Aviation in 1981. He held the portfolio of president of the Board of Investment and minister of state for investment from October 2008 till May 2013. He was appointed finance minister on February 19, 2013.
Earlier, on Monday’s morning PML-N nominated Raja Zafarul Haq as its candidate for the Senate chairman slot.
Senior PML-N leader Mushahidullah Khan announced the names of ruling party’s candidates for Chairman and Deputy Chairman. The PML-N leadership announced to field Usman Kakar on the deputy chairman slot. He added that the decision over the names of candidates for the top slots was made unanimously. He further claimed that the ruling party had the required numbers to get their candidates elected.
Mushahidullah said both Raja Zafarul Haq and Usman Kakar have rendered services for the cause of democracy and upholding of prestige of parliamentary institutions.

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