ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Sunday rejected the resolution tabled by the opposition against Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala, for failing to get the desired number of votes on Thursday.
The opposition’s no-confidence motion could get only 50 votes, while it required at least 53 votes to get it approved in the Senate. 45 votes were cast in Sadiq Sanjrani’s favour. The presiding officer had rejected three votes during counting in presence of the government and opposition representatives.
The government members sprang to celebration as the voting was afoot. With the rejection of the no-trust motion Sadiq Sanjrani will stay as the chairman Senate.
All 100 senators present in the House voted on no-confidence motion. The Senate had began proceeding on the resolution against the chairman and the deputy chairman after majority of the Senators rose from their seats to confirm their agreement to it.
The development took place after 64 Senators voted in favor of the no-confidence motion against Sadiq Sanjrani as chairman of the Upper House. Following which, the motion was approved for proceeding in the session, which was convened by President Arif Alvi.
Barrister Saif chaired the session on directive of the president. While, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto was watching the proceedings from the gallery reserved for guests. 100 out of 104 members of the Upper House were in attendance on this occasion.
Two members of the Jamaati-e-Islami decided to abstain from voting. A PML-N Senator Chaudhry Tanvir did not attend the session because of his ailment and Ishaq Dar had been denotified.
Tabling the motion, Leader of the Opposition in Senate Senator Raja Zafarul Haq said no opposition senator would make a speech.
Taking picture of the ballot paper had been prohibited during secret balloting.
If Sanjrani was removed as chairman this would have been an unprecedentedly big development and could further stir the already charged political environment in Pakistan.
The resolution, drawn up by the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sherry Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Javed Abbasi, was signed by all the senators of the opposition parties against the chairman and deputy chairman. The opposition had named National Party (NP) President Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo as its candidate for the Senate chairman’s post.
Upon request of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, President Alvi had convened the Senate session for no-trust vote. It is an upset for the opposition parties as numerically they were at an advantageous position.
At the time when Sanjrani was elected a senator he was a member of an independent group. Then, the same group formed the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and later joined the ruling party’s coalition.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Senator Raja Zafarul Haq had informed the Senate secretariat that the no-trust motion was in accordance with the constitution and Sadiq Sanjrani could not chair this session. The decision to remove the chairman was taken at the multiple party conference of the opposition. Senator Hasil Bizenjo had earlier said 55 opposition senators had participated in the meeting and the number was enough to de-seat the Senate chairman.
Sanjrani would have to quit the post if he was voted out by majority number of Senate members, 53.