Government, Opposition Fight for Pakistani Senate Control

Zardari in no mood to strike deal with PML-N

Polling had taken place via a secret ballot.

With the ruling party claiming to have gathered the support of as many as 57 senators in the 104-House to elect its candidates easily, Sharif and his allies made a decision to support Raza Rabbani, if PPP nominates him for the office of Senate chairman.

Meanwhile, former Finance Minister Saleem Mandviwalla, fielded by the joint opposition, has been elected as deputy chairman with 54 votes, compared with 44 votes obtained by the ruling alliance's candidate, Usman Kakar.

A total of 53 votes are required to win the Senate chairmanship. The election was held after 51 newly elected senators took oath in the House.

To a question about number of parties supporting the PPP, Bilawal did not divulge details, arguing that it would benefit the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Following the adjournment of the session, nomination papers for the Senate chairman and deputy Chairman were submitted at the house of 104-members.

Explaining his party's stance after a meeting with Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Sanjrani, MQM-P Senator Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said: "It will not be possible for us to vote for the PPP [deputy chairman] candidate [Saleem Mandviwalla]" due to the PPP government's performance in Sindh. This is actually the Victory of People of Balochistan & Credit goes to Imran Khan & all the Parties who Supported Him.

Sadiq Sanjrani, who has never been to any legislature previously, is also believed to be enjoying support of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

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Sadiq Sanjrani had also worked with former chief minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri as his special assistant.

Half of the senators are elected for six years, and half for three years. Senators were then invited to sign the member rolls.

He also blasted the opposition for terming the chairman's election as a victory from Balochistan, saying the parties turned the Balochistan assembly into a "market".

The process to elect the deputy chairman was going on.

After having the in-house discussion, a meeting was held with allied parties' heads - including Jamiat Ulema Islam-F chief Fazlur Rehman, National Party chief Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai.

According to PML-N insiders, PkMAP chief suggested that the candidate for chairmanship should be from PML-N as it was the single largest party.

"It has been proved today some forces are more supreme than the Parliament", he said in his speech in Senate after the election of new chairman and deputy chairman of the house.

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