Pakistan opposition candidate elected Senate chairman

The writer is a graduate student at SOAS University of London

The writer is a graduate student at SOAS University of London

The newly elected Senate chairman began his political career in 1998 by serving as coordinator of the then premier, former head of PMLN, Nawaz Sharif in Balochistan until the coup in 1999.

"We are happy for the people of Balochistan & for the federation of Pakistan", said Imran Khan.

Mir Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, an independent senator from restive Balochistan province, was elected chairman of Senate, Pakistan's upper house of parliament, on Monday.

Nasar also administered oath to Sanjrani who immediately took the seat and announced to conduct the elections of deputy chairman.

According to Express News, 52 senators took the oath today, and the election of the chairman and deputy chairman of the Upper House will take place at 4pm today. Congratulations Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani. Chaired by PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, the meeting was attended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahid Ullah Khan, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Pervaiz Rasheed, Musadaq Malik, Marriyam Aurangzeb and others.

Meanwhile, former Finance Minister Saleem Mandviwalla, fielded by the joint opposition, has been elected as deputy chairman with 54 votes, compared with 44 votes obtained by the ruling alliance's candidate, Usman Kakar.

Majority of the opposition parties had supported Sanjrani's candidature and announced to vote for him after he was elected as the member of the Senate for the first time on March 3, 2018 in the Senate elections, in which, half of the chamber's members were elected.

Sadiq Sanjrani, who has never been to any legislature previously, is also believed to be enjoying support of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

But the party required 20 more votes from its allied parties to clinch the office of the Senate chairman, which it could not get.

Sadiq Sanjrani's father Khan Muhammad Asif Sanjrani is considered one of the leading tribal elders of Chagai district and now he is a member of the Chagai District Council. However, just a day later, it announced that it would vote for the panel announced by the Balochistan chief minister. Bizenjo was accompanied by a delegation of independent senators-elect from Balochistan.

Talking to the media after the meeting, NP chief Bizenjo, who holds the portfolio of Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, said that the ruling coalition has empowered Nawaz to decide the candidates for both chairman and deputy chairman slots and the announcement would most likely be made today (Sunday). He said that besides its own 34 votes, the PML-N has support from 14 votes of the JUI-F, PkMAP, BNP, MQM and Functional League.

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