Tariq Butt, Staff Reporter
In a major upset, Pakistan’s Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Thursday survived a no-confidence resolution tabled by the opposition parties, which have a clear majority to remove him.
Defections from the opposition ranks led to the thwarting of the no-trust resolution.
The opposition needed at least 53 votes for no-confidence but fell three votes short of victory. It could muster only 50 votes against Sanjrani. Five votes were rejected while 45 were cast in Sanjrani’s favour.
Interestingly, sixty-four opposition senators had stood up in favour of the grant of leave to move the no-trust motion, which was a requirements under the rules.
A total of 100 senators were present during the voting while four MPs absented themselves for one reason or the other. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Chaudhry Tanvir was abroad for treatment while senator-elect Ishaq Dar, who is also in London has not yet taken oath as the member. Two Jamaat-e-Islami senators boycotted the process to remain away from it.
Immediately after the vote, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan hailed the opposition's defeat and termed the result as "the victory of Pakistan's narrative."
This was the first-ever no-confidence motion against the Senate chairman. PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq tabled the resolution but said that the opposition "will not make any speeches" even though the rules allow a debate.
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Senator Shibli Faraz also waived his right to make a speech, saying that the government wishes for the motion to be put directly to the vote.
Barrister Saif then read out the rules for voting on the resolution. He said that the doors of the hall will remain closed as long as voting is underway.
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