Newly-elected senators take oath of office

In Local
April 09, 2024

The newly-elected members of the Senate were sworn in on Tuesday and took oath of office amid a boycott by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). 

At the session commenced, Senate Secretary Qasim Samad Khan announced that the newly elected senators would take oath and the session would resume during the second half of the day to elect the chairman and deputy chairman of the upper house. 

Senator Ishaq Dar acted as the presiding officer during the first session. 

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Yousuf Raza Gilani is poised to ascend to the coveted Senate chairman position unopposed, thanks to a power-sharing deal with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) as the upper house holds its first meeting today.

Meanwhile, the main rival, the PTI, has decided to sit out of the elections for both chairman and deputy chairman.

With PTI’s boycott, Gilani, the joint candidate of the ruling coalition, finds himself with a clear path to the Senate throne. This victory would mark Gilani’s ascent to a historic trifecta, having previously held the positions of National Assembly speaker and prime minister, now poised to add Senate chairman to his list of accolades.

Before seizing the reins of government, PML-N and PPPP inked a pact, divvying up key posts in a political barter. Under this arrangement, PPP retained the esteemed offices of the president, the Senate’s chairman, and deputy speaker of the National Assembly, alongside governorships in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In exchange, PML-N secured the coveted offices of prime minister, National Assembly speaker, deputy chairman Senate, and governorships in Sindh and Balochistan. Surprisingly, the party hasn’t yet nominated anyone for the post of the deputy chairman’s office.

On Monday, PTI decided to boycott the elections of chairman and deputy chairman Senate on the grounds that the house is incomplete as Senate polls were postponed to the extent of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the newly-elected lawmakers on reserved seats were not allowed to take the oath.

Although PTI has distanced itself from the elections on key posts in the Senate, the numerical strength of the ruling alliance is more than enough to secure victory even if PTI had decided to contest elections on both positions.

In the house of 96 members, 85 senators have so far been elected as the Election Commission of Pakistan had postponed elections on 11 seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the non-administration of oaths to members elected on the reserved seats.


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