Pakistan

Govt-backed candidates Sanjrani, Afridi win top posts in Senate

  • Sanjrani received 48 votes while Gilani secured 42 votes
  • Senator Sayed Muzafar Hussain Shah, nominated as the presiding officer, supervised the polling process
Published March 12, 2021

Government-backed candidates Sadiq Sanjrani and Mirza Mohammad Afridi have been elected as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Senate on Friday.

Overall 98 Senators have cast their vote during the chairman and deputy chairman elections.

After a tough contest and speculations, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Sadiq Sanjrani has won the Senate chairman slot defeating opposition's joint candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Sanjrani received 48 votes while Gilani secured 42 votes. However, seven votes were rejected.

Meanwhile, Afridi was elected as deputy chairman of the upper house after receiving 54 votes. PDM’s candidate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri received 44 votes.

The polling for the top posts of the Upper House were held after the newly-elected members of the Senate took oath. Senator Sayed Muzafar Hussain Shah, nominated as the presiding officer, administered the oath to the members-elect and supervised the polling process.

Voting to select Senate chairman and deputy began at 3pm and continued till 5pm. PDM's candidate Haideri was the first one to cast his vote. At least 98 members cast their votes while one member from the JI, Mushtaq Ahmed did not take part in the polling process.

Spy camera controversy

Earlier during the Senate session, Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) lawmakers Raza Rabbani and Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar claimed that secret cameras had been installed at the polling booth. The disclosure caused outrage among the Senate members who demanded of Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to step down.

Later, Information Minister Shibli Faraz held a press conference saying that spy cameras were placed inside Senate polling booths by the opposition leaders themselves to stage a drama.

He said that the opposition created an impression that the cameras were deployed by the government. He stated that an in-depth investigation of the incident will be carried out.

The minister maintained the government will expose PPP and PML-N agents who are behind the conspiracy.

Parliamentary committee formed

Secretary Senate Qasim Samad has formed a parliamentary committee to investigate recovery of ‘spy cameras’ from the Senate hall ahead of polling for the chairman and deputy chairman top slots.

The committee has been tasked to ensure free, fair and transparent investigation into the matter.

Gilani claimed victory

Prior to the polling for Senate top slot, Pakistan Democratic Movement's joint candidate for Senate chairman Yousuf Raza Gilani claimed that he had already won the election.

He said: “Everyone knows that we have already won.” He added the parliamentarians do not have confidence in the prime minister which was a benefit for him in winning the Senate seat.

PTI's Sadiq Sanjrani and Mirza Muhammad Afridi and the joint opposition’s Yousaf Raza Gillani and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri contested for the slots of Senate chairman and deputy chairman.

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