Opposition enjoys a clear majority with 52 seats over 47 seats of ruling coalition

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The polling to elect new chairman and deputy chairman of the Upper House of the Parliament, Senate came to an end on Friday through secret ballot amid government and opposition leaders‘ claims over spy cameras found over the polling booth ahead of the election and counting of votes is underway.

Earlier, Presiding Officer Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah resumed the session and announced the names of the candidates. He also informed the senators about the process of voting.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its allied parties have nominated Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani for Senate chairmanship and Muhammad Afridi for deputy chairmanship whereas opposition has jointly selected the names of Yousaf Raza Gillani and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri as nominees for chairmanship and deputy chairmanship.

It is to be mentioned here that the opposition parties enjoy a clear majority with 52 seats in the House as 20 members are from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), 17 from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), five from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), three from Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal), two each from Awami National Party (ANP), Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party and one independent member.

The number of ruling coalition stands at 47 including 26 from PTI, 12 from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), three from Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), one each from Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Muslim League Functional and four independent senators.

48 newly-elected members of Senate take oath

Earlier today, the newly-elected 48 members of the Upper House of the Parliament, Senate took oath during the specially convened session in Islamabad.

Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah, nominated as presiding officer by President Arif Alvi, chaired the session and administered the oath to the members-elect. The senators also signed the roll of members.

The newly elected 11 members from Punjab included PML-Q’s Kamil Ali Agha, PTI’s Saifullah Niazi, Aon Abbas, Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Syed Ali Zafar, Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur, and PML-N’s Afnan Ullah Khan, Sajid Mir, Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui, Azam Nazeer Tara, Saadia Abbasi.

From Sindh, the 11 elected members included PPP’s Saleem Mandviwala, Sheher Bano Sherry Rehman, Taj Haider, Shahadat Awan, Jam Mahtab Hussain, Farooq Hamid Naek, Palwasha Mohammed Zai Khan, PTI’s Muhammad Faisal Vawda, Saifullah Abro and MQM-P’s Syed Faisal Ali Sabzwari, Khalida Ateeb.

The 12 senators elected from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) included PTI’s Mohsin Aziz, Syed Shibli Faraz, Liaquat Khan Tarakai, Faisal Saleem Rehman, Zeeshan Khan Zada, Dost Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Hamayun Mohmand, Sania Nishtar, Falak Naz, Gurdeep Singh, ANP’s Hidayatullah Khan and JUI-F’s Atta-ur-Rehman.

From Balochistan, the 12 elected members included BAP’s Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai, Manzoor Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti, Saeed Ahmed Hashmi, Samina Mumtaz, Danesh Kumar, BNP’s Muhammad Qasim, ANP’s Umer Farooq, JUI’s Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Kamran Murtaza and independent candidates Muhammad Abdul Qadir, Naseema Ehsan.

 New polling booth installed in Senate after opposition’s claim of spy cameras

A ruckus was created in the Upper House during the oath taking ceremony as the opposition stood up from seats and staged protest, claiming that hidden cameras were placed over polling booth. Senator Raza Rabbani said installing spy cameras was violation of the law.

Following the rumpus, presiding officer Senator Sayed Muzafar Hussain Shah ordered to make a new polling booth and allowed both the government and the opposition for inspection.

PPP senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar took to Twitter and shared a picture of an alleged camera along with caption, “Myself and Dr Musadik found spy cameras right over the polling booth."

Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and PML-N leader Musadik Malik talked to media afterwards and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Supreme Court (SC) to take notice of the incident.

On the other hand, Federal Minister for Information Shibli Faraz accused the opposition of installing camera over the polling booth and announced to conduct inquiry into the matter.