Imran Khan speaks during an international conference on the future of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. File/Reuters
The ruling party of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his political allies will seek to wrest control of Pakistan’s Senate from opposition parties on Wednesday in indirect elections to 37 seats in the 104-member upper house of the country’s parliament.
Though his party won the 2018 general election, Khan’s coalition does not have a majority in the Senate, needed to pass key legislation - including legal reforms sought by global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and money laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“They have difficulty in legislating, and many laws are stuck,” Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, head of the independent research organisation PILDAT, told Reuters.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), which translates into Pakistan Movement for Justice, has 12 seats in the Senate, and the two main opposition parties Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) have 12 and 25 seats each.
Indigo flight from Sharjah to Lucknow makes emergency landing at Karachi airport after passenger dies
Over 61 per cent elders among the 46 per cent vaccinated in the UAE
PTI is looking to go up to 25 seats after the elections, and, along with other coalition parties and independents, have a slender majority in the Senate.
The electoral college for the Senate elections, which are held every three years on half of the chamber’s strength, comprises Pakistan’s four provincial assemblies and the lower house of parliament.
With opposition parties controlling the Senate, the government has had to pass interim legislation through Presidential Ordinances, which expire in 120 days.
The government’s legislators and allies in the lower house of parliament will vote on making Khan’s finance minister, Abdul Hafiz Sheikh, a senator. The result could show how much confidence there is in the administration.
“It could determine who has a majority in parliament... it will be an embarrassment for the government, and could even lead to seeking a fresh vote of confidence,” Mehboob said.
The lead up to the potentially pivotal election has been marked by the government and opposition charging each other with seeking votes through unfair means.
Gilani, fielded by the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) secured 169 votes while Hafeez Sheikh could manage 164 ballots. Seven votes were declared invalid and were rejected by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, who won a vote of confidence from Parliament on Saturday, shows people who voted against the candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Hafeez Shaikh on March 3 Senate election were manipulated by opposition
The ruling coalition candidate, Sadiq Sanjrani, on Friday won the election of the Senate Chairman defeating Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) nominee Yousaf Raza Gilani. In a second victory for the ruling coalition, Senator Mirza Mohammad Afridi was elected deputy chairman.
Thousands interact with the Emirati astronaut in the first in a series of nine live public interactions of ‘A call With Space.’
The police have launched massive search and cordon operations in the state against activists of Amritpal Singh's 'Waris Punjab De'.
The Abu Dhabi Court rejects lawsuit filed by a woman, in which she demanded that another woman pay her Dhs45,000, including Dhs25,000 for repairing her car and Dhs20,000 in compensation.
President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, congratulated the UAE mothers on the occasion of the International Mother’s Day.