Aftermath: After Senate win, PPP, allies weigh options

Published: March 6, 2012

In a meeting with the chiefs of coalition partners, the president and the PPP leadership discussed the options of leadership change in the Senate.

ISLAMABAD: 

Losing an almost guaranteed Senate seat has clearly left a bitter taste for the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – despite the heavy presence it now holds in the upper house of Parliament.

According to sources, President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered an inquiry into the shock defeat of PPP candidate from Punjab Aslam Gill who lost to a Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q)-affiliated independent candidate, Mohsin Leghari.

Senior PPP leaders, including Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Raja Pervez Ashraf have been tasked to probe the matter and report back to the president within 15 days.

A meeting of key federal ministers and the senior leadership of the PPP at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday had discussed the loss in detail – and, after a lack of concrete answers, the president ordered the inquiry.

Following the elections sources had alleged that the loss was more difficult to swallow given that the president’s highly-influential sister, MNA Faryal Talpur, had personally planned out the entire strategy to ensure that the PPP’s seats were secured smoothly.

But at Monday’s meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani were also cognizant that they needed to look ahead following the Senate elections.

Leadership change

In a meeting later in the evening with the chiefs of coalition partners, the president and the PPP leadership discussed the options of leadership change in the Senate.

Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, who himself has won a Senate seat, said that the meetings were convened to discuss the elections for the chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate and will consider the names of possible candidates.

President Asif Ali Zardari, officials from the party told The Express Tribune, was consulting top leaders of the PPP, as well as coalition partners, and would announce his choice in a day or two.

According to sources the PPP is considering three stalwarts for the slot of chairman – and former Law Minister Dr Babar Awan is supposedly the frontrunner. Interestingly, among others being considered for the coveted slot, according to sources, are Barrister Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Senator Raza Rabbani.

At the allied parties’ meeting, it was decided that the new deputy chairman of the Senate should be from Balochistan – but there wasn’t consensus on any name.

Also it was not immediately known what new assignment would be given to the incumbent Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek.

Other things

Among other things discussed was also the president’s upcoming address to a joint session of Parliament – which will be the incumbent’s fifth address.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2012.

Reader Comments (7)

  • Apnakarachi
    Mar 6, 2012 - 7:07AM

    Political Meeting at the President house? using tax payers money for Political decisions :s is there any check and balance in this country?

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  • hey
    Mar 6, 2012 - 8:40AM

    @Apnakarachi:
    who do you think pays the meetings at governor house sindh.

    Recommend

  • Mar 6, 2012 - 10:23AM

    @Apnakarachi: what about meeting at Raiwind being chaired by Nawaz Sharif and attended by government officials or Judges attending marriages of their brother judges’ sons/daughters!

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  • La La jee
    Mar 6, 2012 - 11:03AM

    Brothers When in power Either in karachi, Lahore , Islamabad across pakistan Its always A party time paid by Us on Mobile load of RS.20 and on Shampoo of Rs 2.00 and …………………

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  • Solomon
    Mar 6, 2012 - 11:55AM

    Fruits of Democracy!

    The country only deserves a Dictator, Statesmand

    Recommend

  • Beatle
    Mar 6, 2012 - 12:49PM

    @Apnakarachi:
    Typical and Shallow critisim. If the meetings were held at the PM House, OR a neutral venue, who you think would have paid? Tax money, of course.

    Recommend

  • Beatle
    Mar 6, 2012 - 1:30PM

    @Solomon:
    emphasized textFruits of Democracy!
    The country only deserves a Dictator, Statesmand
    strong text

    How about migrating to Zimbawe, OR Venuzvela – Could be good places of this choice.

    Recommend

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