The much-awaited Senate chairman election concluded on Friday evening, with government-backed candidates Sadiq Sanjrani and Mirza Mohammad Afridi emerging as the victors.
In the race for chairman, Sadiq Sanjrani defeated Opposition candidate Yousaf Raza Gillani with 49 votes, while Gillani received 42 votes.
On the other hand, government candidate Mirza Mohammad Afridi won the election for the deputy chairman of the Senate with 54 votes, defeating Opposition’s Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, who grabbed 44 votes.
The presiding officer rejected seven votes cast for Yousaf Raza Gillani as, according to him, the stamps were not placed correctly on the ballot paper. Once the winner was announced, however, Opposition members of the Senate protested the decision of the presiding officer to reject the votes, saying that no instructions had been provided to the voters as to where the stamp should be placed.
Adamant that Gillani is the “actual winner,” of the election, the Opposition has decided to take the matter to the election tribunal.
The polling for the Senate chairman’s post started at 3pm, presided over by officials from the Senate Secretariat. The process of voting completed at 4:40 pm, but counting started after the official time, i.e. 5pm. The polling time for the election of the deputy chairman of the Senate was completed at 6:59pm, while the results were announced at 7:08pm.
Earlier in the day, the newly-elected members of the Upper House had taken their oath of office shortly after the session began at 10am.