Home South Asia Pakistan Has Zardari’s engineered appointment of Senate chairman backfired?

Has Zardari’s engineered appointment of Senate chairman backfired?

In an important development at the All Parties Conference convened on June 26, the opposition parties have decided to bring a no-confidence motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. However, there are reports that senators from PPP and PML-N have opposed passing the no-confidence motion against Sanjrani.

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The opposition parties have joined hands to dethrone the Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani – a senator from Balochistan who had defeated Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s candidate with the help of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and others in the Senate elections.

In an important development at the All Parties Conference convened on June 26, the opposition parties have decided to bring a no-confidence motion against Senate chairman. In addition, they decided that the opposition’s steering committee will decide the new member to be put for Senate chairman’s candidacy.

However, Pakistan’s leading English newspaper Dawn has reported that senators from PPP and PML-N have opposed passing the no-confidence motion against Sanjrani. While referring to a PML-N senator without revealing identity, the paper has stated that the party members have refused to be part of the no-confidence motion.

Senate chairman not only regulates the upper house proceedings but also becomes acting president in the absence of the president of Pakistan.

Similarly, the news item added, PPP leadership was advised against such a move by the party’s senators. The paper while referring to PML-N workers said that the only reason PPP had voted for Sanjrani was to oppose PML-N, adding that PPP had purposely chosen not to field Raza Rabbani as a candidate, despite being advised to.

PPP, PML-N Strike Down Mass Resignation Proposal

Meanwhile, the media reported, PPP and PML-N have rejected Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) leader Maulana Fazl ur Rehman’s proposal of mass resignations from the assemblies.

The representatives of both the parties reiterated that resignations won’t resolve the issues, and the opposition will not have the opportunity to give its point of view outside the parliament.

Read more: PTI stands by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani: PM Imran Khan

Reportedly, the huddle decided to mark July 25 as black day to mark their protest against alleged rigging in the last election. APC was convened in line with the opposition parties’ decision to launch a movement against the government.

Bilawal, Maryam Decide to Remove Sanjrani

Sanjrani, a little-known opposition candidate was elected as Senate chairman in March 2018. He had got 57 votes out of a total 103, while PML-N’s candidate Raja Zafarul Haq bagged 46 votes. Interestingly, PPP, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others had backed Sanjrani but PPP’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was mostly credited with engineering Sanjrani’s victory.

A majority of 53 members is required to remove the Senate chairman. Currently, the media reported, PPP, PML-N, National Party and JUI-F have 46 members in the Senate, while there are 29 independent senators.

On June 16, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz had agreed to oust Sanjrani during a meeting in Lahore. The two political scions had met after Maryam invited Bilawal for lunch at Jati Umrah – the home of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.

The media reports while quoting sources had said that Maryam and Bilawal had agreed to remove Sanjrani, adding that the new name would be considered after consultation with the opposition parties. Senate chairman not only regulates the upper house proceedings but also becomes acting president in the absence of the president of Pakistan. At the moment, the opposition is said to be in a comfortable position to not only remove but bring in a candidate of its choice.

Read more: PML-N, PPP join hands to remove Senate chairman

A majority of 53 members is required to remove the Senate chairman. Currently, the media reported, PPP, PML-N, National Party and JUI-F have 46 members in the Senate, while there are 29 independent senators. The Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) has two members, while the Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and PML-Functional have one member each. The ruling PTI has 14 members. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has five and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has two senators.

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