PTI approaches IHC for postponement of election of Senate chairman, deputy


PTI approaches IHC for postponement of election of Senate chairman, deputy

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has made a move to postpone the election of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman, which are scheduled for tomorrow, citing the need to first hold elections for vacant seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Five PTI senators filed a plea in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday and sent a letter to the Senate secretary, seeking the delay. The IHC, despite objections from the registrar’s office, entertained the plea and called for a response from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Originally, elections for 30 vacant Senate seats were set for April 2. However, controversy surrounding the oath-taking of opposition lawmakers on reserved seats in KP led the ECP to postpone polls on 11 seats from the province. Nonetheless, elections proceeded on the remaining 19 seats, all of which were won by the ruling coalition.

Following the election, the total Senate strength increased from 66 to 85, with the ruling coalition, led by PML-N, securing 59 seats. This overwhelming victory positioned the ruling alliance favorably to pass legislation through both houses of Parliament.

President Asif Ali Zardari convened a fresh Senate session for April 9 (tomorrow), as announced late last night. A circular issued by the Senate Secretariat confirmed the session’s agenda, including the swearing-in of newly elected members and the election of the chairman and deputy chairman.

Previously, the president had appointed Ishaq Dar, who won a technocrat seat from Islamabad on April 2, as the presiding officer for the first session.

In the IHC plea, filed today, senators Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur, Falak Naz, Fawzia Arshad, Saifullah Sarwar Khan Niazi, and Saifullah Abro named the ECP, president, and Senate secretariat as respondents. Despite objections from the IHC registrar’s office, Chief Justice Aamer Farooq presided over the hearing and asked whether the matter was also under consideration by the Peshawar High Court (PHC).