Pakistan Peoples Party nominates former PM Gilani for Senate chairman

PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 05-04-2024 23:23 IST | Created: 05-04-2024 23:23 IST
Pakistan Peoples Party nominates former PM Gilani for Senate chairman
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Former Pakistan prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has been nominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as its candidate for the coveted post of Senate chairman as part of the power-sharing agreement between his party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), according to a media report on Friday. A notification nominating Gilani was issued on Thursday by Jamil Soomro, political secretary to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Geo News reported. According to a post-poll agreement between the PPP and the PML-N that formed a coalition government after the February 8 general elections, the post of president, Senate chairman and governorship of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were given to the PPP, while the posts of Senate deputy chairman, National Assembly speaker and governorship of Sindh and Balochistan were given to the PML-N.

Presently, the 71-year-old veteran leader, who served as the country's prime minister from 2008 to 2012, has the support of 24 senators from the PPP, 19 from the PML-N, four from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), three from Awami National Party (ANP), three independents and one from the National Party, taking the tally to 54, the report said. If he gets the support of three Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) (MQM-P) and five Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) senators, then the tally will be 62, suggesting a comfortable position for the ruling coalition nominee. On the other hand, jailed former premier Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has the support of 20 senators and one each from the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and PML-Q, taking its tally to 22.

If the JUI-F opts to sit with the opposition, then it would have a total of 27 members, the report said. Eleven Senate seats from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are lying vacant as the Election Commission of Pakistan has postponed the election there. Gilani's election victory would set a unique record as he would be the first person to have served as the National Assembly speaker, prime minister and Senate chairman. The Senate is expected to meet for its inaugural session on April 9 when the newly-elected members of the upper house of Parliament will be administered oath. According to parliamentary sources, following the recent appointment of Senator-elect Ishaq Dar as presiding officer because of the slots of chairman and deputy chairman Senate lying vacant, preparations are afoot to summon the session.

Both Sadiq Sanjrani and Mirza Muhammad Afridi had completed their three-year terms as chairman and deputy chairman before the recent Senate elections. Therefore, it was necessary to appoint a presiding officer before the Senate session.

It is for the first time that the House would be holding a session without polling in an assembly. Hence, the now 96-member Senate will be shy of 11 members when it meets, Geo News reported.

Last month, Gilani won a Senate seat in the National Assembly from Islamabad, polling 204 of the 301 votes cast, while his rival Sunni Ittehad Council's Ilyas Mehrban got only 88 votes. In the February 8 general elections, Gilani won a National Assembly seat from Multan in Punjab province.

Gilani, who took oath as a member of the lower house on February 29, then vacated the seat on March 22.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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