ISLAMABAD: The election body has notified 37 candidates elected on the Senate seats on all but one legislator — but it remains unclear when the newly elected lawmakers will take oath once the new House meets — keeping in view that Senate elections on 11 seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly remain postponed.

The existing election and constitutional laws do not stipulate any time period for the Senate session to be summoned after Senate elections.

The Rule 21(3) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012 provides that the president, on the advice of the prime minister, shall summon the Senate to meet, “as far as practicable,” on dates mentioned in the provisional calendar: Provided that the president may, if so advised by the PM, summon the Senate to meet on a date different from that mentioned in the provisional calendar.

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Apart from that, the president can summon the Senate session using his authority under Article 54(1).

A senator from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) told Business Recorder that the PM would advise the president to summon the Senate session once the candidates for the slots of chairman, deputy chairman and leader of the house in Senate were finalised.

However, the election of chairman/deputy chairman Senate, in the absence of 11 members on KP seats, would raise questions on the credibility of this entire process, the senator admitted.

On March 11, 52 senators retired after completion of their six-year term—rendering the Senate dysfunctional.

On March 14, six senators were elected in by-elections but they could not take oath due to dysfunctional Senate.

This implies that once the Senate meets, 43 lawmakers would be required to take oath.

The Rule 9(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012 provides that at the first meeting of the Senate, after the members have taken oath—the Senate shall proceed to elect from amongst its members a chairman.

The Rule 9(2) provides that the first meeting of the Senate for election of the Chairman shall be presided over by the outgoing Chairman or, in their absence, by a person nominated by the president.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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