The PTI government won both seats of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the senate today in a tightly fought election in the media spotlight.
PTI candidate Sadiq Sanjrani won his second term as the Senate chairman on Friday in a massive blow to the PDM candidate supported by the opposition. Yousaf Raza Gilani received 42 votes, while Sanjrani won the election after getting 48 votes. Total of eight votes were rejected, in total, 98 senators voted in the election.
The opposition has already announced in a press conference they would challenge the decision by presiding officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, to reject seven votes cast in favour of opposition candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani- that had stamped his name instead of the box along side his name. One vote was discarded due to it having stamps on both names.
To make matters worse for the opposition, the ruling party PTI-backed Senator Mirza Mohammad Afridi was also elected deputy chairman, beating opposition candidate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the JUI-F.
For the deputy chairman election, Sanjrani announced that Afridi had received 54 votes, while Haideri received 44. This indicates seven opposition senators likely voted for the PTI-backed candidate. This difference in numbers also suggests that the wasted votes were deliberate and not accidental.
Sadiq Sanjrani was first elected to the post in March 2018, when he was backed by the joint opposition (including the PTI and the PPP among others), to become the first person from Balochistan to be elected to the coveted post.