ISLAMABAD: A Senate session to elect fresh chairman and deputy chairman began on Monday in Islamabad with Hafiz Abdul Karim casting the first vote.
Raja Zafarul Haq of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Sadiq Sanjrani, a joint candidate of opposition parties are contesting for Senate chairmanship. For deputy chairman, Usman Kakar of ruling PML-N and Salim Mandviwala of Pakistan People s Party (PPP) are taking part.
Left: Candidate for PML-N Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, Right: Candidate for opposition parties Sadiq Sanjrani
Over 60 senators had cast their votes until 05:10pm.
The new senators were sworn in at 10:00am today after they won Senate polls held on March 3. And polling to elect new leaders of the Upper House kickstarted at 04:00pm today. The polling is being held via secret ballot.
Three senators belonging to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) were initially absent namely, Maulana Faiz Muhammad, Abdul Ghafoor Hyderi and Attaur Rehman which could have served a blow to federally ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) but they returned before polling concluded.
PML-N’s Mushahidullah and Abdul Qadir Baloch briefly conversed with JUI-F’s members upon their return.
Following the polling, the candidate with majority of votes will be administered oath who would then swear in his deputy.
The session is to be adjourned until further notice after the oath-taking ceremony.
Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (F), Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (F) will vote for PML-N’s candidate Raja Zafar-ul-Haq while Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PK MAP) and Balochistan National Party (Mengal) will also support him.