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ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lost the race to appoint their favoured candidates to the top Senate slots as Sadiq Sanjrani, an opposition-backed candidate from Balochistan, was appointed Senate chairman on Monday.
Sanjrani secured 57 votes out of possible 103 votes and was administered oath by presiding officer Sardar Yaqub Khan.
Sanjrani, an independent, had been backed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
According to reports, Sanjrani also had the support of independent senators elected from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
Sanjrani was contesting for the post against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate Raja Zafarul Haq, who was backed by the National Party (NP), Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), PML-Functional and Awami National Party.
Mandivwalla elected deputy chairman
PPP’s Saleem Mandviwalla was elected as the deputy chairman and sworn in by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sajrani . Mandviwalla was contesting against government-backed Usman Khan Kakar from PkMAP and secured 54 votes.
Senator Mandviwalla was elected to the upper house of parliament on November 8, 2012 on a General Seat from Sindh province on a Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) ticket.
He was chairperson to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatisation. He has previously served as the Federal Finance Minister, Minister of State for Finance Division, and President of the Board of Investment.
PTI chairman Imran Khan tweeted that Sanjrani’s election would strengthen the federation.
Congratulations to Baloch Senator Sadiq Sanjirani for becoming Chairman Senate. This will strengthen the federation. We are happy for the people of Balochistan & for the federation of Pakistan.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 12, 2018
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called it a win for Balochistan and federalism.
Zia’s opening batsman defeated. Balochistan wins. Federalism wins. Congratulations Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) March 12, 2018
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz said the “pawns” have actually faced defeat today and dared them to “appear before the nation”.