Home Global Village PML-N looks favorite to win Senate Chairmanship after PPP snubbed Rabbani

PML-N looks favorite to win Senate Chairmanship after PPP snubbed Rabbani

Chairmanship
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The race for appointment of Senate Chairman has intensified. Political maneuverings is on rise in the capital to scramble through to acquire support required to win the coveted chairman position. After taking initial ascendency overruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) appears to have taken a back seat, especially after its decision to ditch Raza Rabbani over his allegiances with ruling party.

Earlier, PML-N leader and newly declared ‘Quaid for life’ Nawaz Sharif had given a green signal to Rabbani to become next Senate Chairman,  but Asif Ali Zardari as was early reported in media opted not to support this proposition. Zardari claimed that Rabbani failed to resist unconstitutional acts of the Nawaz and attained Nawaz’s support. Given this development, the alliance between the two cannot be ruled out in the future. Moreover, against the party policy, Rabbani had strongly criticized the US over its double standards.

Zardari still claims to have the votes to win the elections, but given the emerging situation and political realities, it seems more likely that PML-N backed candidate will win the chairmanship in upcoming polls.

He had claimed that “Western double standards when they politically and economically supported dictatorial regimes in Pakistan and maintained silence over the unlawful prosecution of political workers”. These statements angered PPP leadership. Since than opposition parties along with PML-N favored Rabbani, Zardari’s decision to not nominate him has put PPP on the back foot. 

Having seen the opportunity, PML-N is looking to capitalize and apparently stepped up its efforts to consolidate its position in its pursuit of Senate chairmanship. After the PPP’s decision, Awami National Party (ANP) which has only one senator reportedly decided to support PML-N.  Moreover, ruling party is hoping to get support from Baluchistan National Party (BNP) which also has only one senator.

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Since PPP harshly criticized Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), PML-N looks confident to receive their support despite the former’s alliance with PTI in KP. PML-N has also upped its efforts to woe Muttahida Qaumi Movement –Pakistan (MQM-P’s) two groups- Bahadurabad and PIB.  It also held meetings with Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) leader Pir Pagara today.

Moreover, PML-N is also confident of its allies Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP). Maulana Fazlur Rehman held meetings with both Nawaz and Zardari. Early signs show, he may opt for Nawaz, especially, given his chances in 2018 general elections look brighter after great showing in recent by-polls.

Amid changing political tides, more positive signals have emerged from PML-N, and it is confident to win even without the Baloch Senators, as JUI-F, PkMAP, MQM-P, ANP, PML-F, and NP are well within its grasp. JI may also join them given its position against PPP.

Pakistan Tehrek- Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan met the Baloch independent Senators which arrived in capital along with Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo. Imran Khan extended his support to get the next Senate chairman elected from Balochistan and announced that 13- PTI members will support Balochistan CM.

He argued that Chairman should not be from PML-N because the party [PML-N] is trying to gather support to legislate new law’s which could facilitate Sharif against the charges of corruption it faces in accountability court. PTI leader urged other parties to not vote Sharif in its quest to stop legislation aiming to save Nawaz.

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He also said, we cannot support PPP, so ideally, it’s better to elect a chairman from small province [Balochistan] which could help their cause. But PML-N downplayed the importance of Baloch independent Senators and claimed that it has acquired the support of enough members that it may not need the support of these independent Senators.

These statements angered PPP leadership. Since than opposition parties along with PML-N favored Rabbani, Zardari’s decision to not nominate him has put PPP on the back foot. 

PTI wants Zardari to nominate the Baloch Senator. In this regard, Khan expects Bizenjo and Baloch Senators to convince Zardari to nominate a Baloch for the chairmanship. Though initially, independent candidates from Balochistan and FATA could have played a central role.

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Amid changing political tides, more positive signals have emerged from PML-N, and it is confident to win even without the Baloch Senators, as JUI-F, PkMAP, MQM-P, ANP, PML-F, and NP are well within its grasp. JI may also join them given its position against PPP.

Zardari still claims to have the votes to win the elections, but given the emerging situation and political realities, it seems more likely that PML-N backed candidate will win the chairmanship in upcoming polls.


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