Dr Asim Hussain, former adviser to the prime minister on petroleum and a close personal friend of President Asif Ali Zardari, has been elected unopposed as a Senator for Sindh.
After his election as a member of the national legislature, Hussain is widely expected to become petroleum minister, a portfolio that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is currently managing himself.
Hussain had submitted nomination papers for the vacant Senate seat on behalf of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) along with candidates from the Pakistan Muslim League Functional (PML-F) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). However, none of the other candidates proceeded beyond the filing stage, leading to Hussain’s election.
“Today (Saturday) is the date of scrutiny of papers. Since there is no other candidate against him, the election commission declares Dr Asif Hussain the uncontested Senator from Sindh,” said Provincial Election Commissioner, Sono Khan Baloch
Most Senators are elected by the members of the provincial assemblies of the four provinces through a system of proportional representation. The number of Senators a party is able to elect depends on the number of seats they have in the provincial assemblies.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2011.