Polling for Senate election completed, counting of votes continues
ISLAMABAD: An important battle is raging between the government and opposition candidates for the election of a new chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate.
Presiding Officer Senator Muzaffar Hussain presided over the sitting of the Upper House in which the newly elected Senators were sworn in. As per the rules, the presiding officer appointed by the President, Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah administered oath to the newly elected members of the Senate.
Government candidates Sadiq Sanjarani and Mirza Afridi while PDM candidates Yousuf Gilani and Abdul Ghafoor Haideri submitted nomination papers which were accepted. The Presiding Officer declared the nomination papers of the candidates valid.
The meeting was adjourned for Friday prayers after which the Presiding Officer released the schedule for the election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate.
Senate members voted alphabetically for chairman. The first vote was cast by Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri. The House has 100 members but 98 senators were present in the meeting due to the decision of Jamaat-e-Islami to be absent and Ishaq Dar not to take oath. Voting is complete and counting continues.
After the election of the Chairman, the Presiding Officer will take oath from the new Chairman. After taking oath, the Chairman will elect the Deputy Chairman. The Chairman will take oath from the newly elected Deputy Chairman Senate.
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PTI and ruling coalition candidate Sadiq Sanjarani and former PPP Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani are the joint opposition candidates in the race for the post of chairman and vice-chairman of the upper house after the tumultuous Senate elections.
The opposition has fielded Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, a senior leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), for the post of deputy chairman, while the government has fielded Mirza Muhammad Afridi, a former FATA senator.
According to Senate rules, in the event of a contest between the two candidates, a candidate must win a majority of at least 51% of the total number of members of the House.
Violation of Corona SOPs
Members of the House slammed the Corona SOPs. The majority of the members were present in the House without masks, who continued to shake hands and hug despite the Corona threat. The Secretary of the Senate, including the Presiding Officer, was also without a mask.
Members of the Senate taking the oath
52 members of the Upper House have resigned after completing their six-year constitutional term, while 48 new members took oath today.
Among the retiring senators are Shibli Faraz, Saleem Mandviwala, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Sherry Rehman, Farooq H Naik, Maulana Ata-ur-Rehman, Liaquat Khan Turki, Manzoor Ahmed, Mohsin Aziz, Prof Sajid Mir, Sarfraz Bugti and Zeeshan Khanzada. Include