Tough contest for Senate chairman, deputy slots today

Ijaz Kakakhel

A tough competition for the slots of chairman and deputy chairman for Upper House of Parliament will be held here today with 48 newly elected senators taking oath for next six years.

A tough contest would be observed for the slot of Chairman Senate for which the government has announced the out-going chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and the Pakistan Democratic Movement fielded Yousaf Raza Gillani of PPP who defeated Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in recent Senate election from Islamabad.

For Deputy Chairman Senate, the ruling PTI nominated an independent candidate from erstwhile FATA, Mirza Mohammad Afridi while the PDM already announced Abdul Ghafoor Haidri of JUI-F for the said post.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz announced the name of Afridi for deputy chairman Senate with the approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“PM Imran Khan has fulfilled the commitment he made to the people of erstwhile FATA,” said the minister on twitter.

According to the official Senate website, Mirza Afridi is an independent candidate from erstwhile FATA who has been a Senator since March 2018 and his tenure will last till March 2024.

The PDM has received nomination papers for its candidates, Yousaf Raza Gilani for the post of chairman and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri for deputy chairman of the Senate.

Papers for the chairman and deputy chairman’s slots were received by PPP leaders Sherry Rehman, Farooq Naik, JUI’s Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, and Maulana Atta-ur-Rehman.

Meanwhile, Opposition members have also obtained a sample of ballot papers from the Senate secretary.

The green ballot paper is for the Senate chairman election and the pink ballot paper for the deputy chairman poll, the Senate secretary said.

The opposition enjoys the support of 52 members, while the government has 48 votes. The required votes for the victory will be 51. The election will be held through secret balloting.

Forty-eight newly-elected senators will also take the oath of his office on Friday.

The names of Faisal Javed Khan, Ejaz Chaudhry and Mirza Mohammad Afridi were under consideration for the slot of deputy chairman in the Senate, out of which Afridi was picked by the premier.