PML-N claims having majority to appoint Senate chairman

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) claimed of having a majority in the Senate to appoint the chairman and the deputy chairman.

The PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have increased efforts to gain support for appointing their nominees to the top positions in the Upper House.
During a PML-N meeting chaired by the party Quaid, Nawaz Sharif, reports over efforts to gain support in the Senate were presented by Saad Rafique, Mushahidullah Khan, Ayaz Sadiq and Musahid Hussain.
Reports claimed that there was more than enough support for the party to appoint the chairman and deputy chairman.
According to media, MQM-P, PML-F and other smaller allied parties have extended their support to the PML-N.
Speaking to the media following the meeting, Saad Rafique said the party had yet not decided on candidates for the Senate posts.

Earlier today, Nawaz reietrated that he personally wants to see Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Raza Rabbani as the next Senate chairman.

PML-N and its allies on Wednesday had decided to extend support to Rabbani if the incumbent chairman’s name is once again suggested by the PPP.

The decision to back Rabbani was taken during a PML-N meeting chaired by Nawaz. The meeting was also attended by Jamiat Ulema-e-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and Hasil Khan Bizenjo among other leaders.

Soon after the PML-N meeting, Maulana Fazl met with PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. Speaking to reporters after the meeting Zardari said he did not want Raza Rabbani to continue as Senate chairman.
When asked in a joint press conference with the JUI-F chief, that the PML-N has shown its willingness to support Rabbani, the PPP co-chairman smiled wryly and said, “Thank you very much, I do not want that”.
A simple majority which translates to 53 votes is required to appoint the chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate. Following the elections, PML-N and independents backed by the party will have 33 seats in the Senate followed by the PPP with 20.
After the Senate elections, independents make up the third largest grouping with 17 seats. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, which would have 12 seats after the new senators are sworn in, has announced that it would not back any party not would it field a PTI candidate for the top Senate posts.