QUETTA: Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) Secretary General Manzoor Kakar on Monday won the by-election for a Senate general seat from the province.
The seat had fallen vacant after the death of Pashtunkhwa Mili Awami Party (PkMAP) leader Sardar Babar Musakhel.
Backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A), Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), Kakar secured 38 votes from the provincial assembly members.
Opposition candidate and BNP-Mengal leader Mir Ghulam Nabi Marri clinched 23 votes with the support of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).
BAP, BNP-M front runners in Senate by-polls
PkMAP’s Sardar Muhammad Hanif received one vote.
The polling started at 9am under the supervision of Balochistan Election Commissioner Ghulam Israr Jan who presided over the election process as returning officer in the provincial assembly.
“Manzoor Kakar was elected as Senator after bagging 38 votes during Monday’s polling, while PTI’s Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawab Sanaullah Zehri didn’t cast their vote and one voted was rejected,” Israr said while announcing the result.
Strict security measures were adopted during the elections as Frontier Corps, police and Balochistan Constabulary personnel were deployed on the roads leading to the provincial assembly building.
After winning the vacant seat, BAP has eight members in the upper house of parliament. Former home minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti was also elected as Senator on BAP’s ticket during the last by-election held in September.
Talking to the media, newly-elected Senator Kakar vowed to represent all coalition partners in the Senate. “My prime duty will be to raise a voice for Balochistan,” he added.
Refuting speculations regarding rifts within the ruling party, Kakar said the Senate election had proved that BAP was united and rumours had been quashed.
Balochistan CM quashes speculation about rift in ruling BAP
“Our opponents wanted to create differences between BAP and coalition partners, but today’s Senate election has foiled all their attempts because we are fully united with our coalition partners on issues related to the province,” Kakar said, expressing confidence that the Balochistan government would complete its tenure.
By-election win proves BAP unity: CM
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has said that the victory of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate in Monday’s Senate by-election has quashed all speculations regarding rifts between BAP and coalition parties. He said the ruling party is on the same page and the alliance with coalition partners will continue.
Talking to reporters, Kamal said his party’s victory and the allies’ role in it would strengthen the coalition.
“The efforts of all coalition partners have resulted in the victory of our Senate candidate Manzoor Khan Kakar, which quashed all speculations regarding rifts between BAP and coalition partners,” said Kamal.
Lauding the political efforts of Kakar, the CM said he was an active member of the party and would represent the voice of Balochistan in the Senate.
“Today’s result showed that our number is at the same level as when the provincial coalition government was formed. I have spoken with Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind and PTI supported our candidate in the Senate by-election,” Kamal said and reiterated that the coalition government is united.
On speculations regarding changes in the government and differences in BAP, he said, “we are political people and believe in political thinking.”
He also said BAP is the leading political force of Balochistan.
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