Names finalised: PPP keeps key Senate slots in hand

Published: March 10, 2012
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Nayyar Hussain Bukhari as chairman, Sabir Baloch deputy and Ishaq Dar leader of the opposition, sources say.

Nayyar Hussain Bukhari as chairman, Sabir Baloch deputy and Ishaq Dar leader of the opposition, sources say.

LAHORE: 

The names are in, and the top slots of the upper house will stay in the hands of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

President, and co-chairman PPP, Asif Ali Zardari has decided to appoint Nayyar Hussain Bukhari as the new Senate chairman and Sabir Ali Baloch as deputy chairman, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

The outgoing chairman, Farooq H Naek, would be appointed the Minister for Law while Senator Ishaq Dar will be notified as Leader of the Opposition in Senate, replacing the incumbent Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri.

The new officers, along with 51 other senators, will take their oath on March 12. The sole independent candidate from Punjab, Mohsin Leghari, has decided to sit on the opposition benches. The outgoing Senate chairman will take his oath as federal law minister later, sources said.

Allies rebuffed

President Zardari categorically refused to accommodate allies’ candidates for top slots in the upper house, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

“The time for people to stand up and blackmail the PPP by showing their numbers has passed,” sources quoted President Zardari telling party’s senior leadership.

With 41 seats out of 104 in hand, the PPP is the single-largest party in the upper house after the recent elections.

The president, during his meetings with allies last week, refused to comply with their demands, sources said.

Both the Awami National Party and the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement, with 12 and seven senators each, had expressed their interest in the deputy chairman slot, but were rebuffed, sources added.

The decision of Bukhari’s appointment as chairman was also confirmed by the deputy nominee, Baloch. He said he has been comfortable working with Bukhari in the past.

About his own appointment as deputy chairman, Bukhari said he will raise the voice of the Baloch people from this post.

“It is gratifying for the people of Balochistan to get the slot of deputy chairman,” said Baloch who was elected a senator from the province in 2009.

Bukhari, the chairman nominee, was elected from the federal capital, and has been serving as as Leader of the House in the Senate.

Making the choice

Sources in the party said the president took the senior leadership into confidence over Bukhari and Baloch’s names.

The other two names that made the rounds earlier – Senator Raza Rabbani and Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan – were dropped for their rigidity and principled stances, sources said.

Bukhari, meanwhile, was a confidant of former premier and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, and was nominated as a party senator in 2003 elections to the upper house under Pervez Musharraf.

Dar, a confidant of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif, was also elected a senator in 2003.

According to the Constitution, the chairman and his deputy are elected for three years. The outgoing chairman takes oath from the newly-elected senators and the new chairman, who subsequently takes an oath from his freshly-appointed deputy.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Mar 10, 2012 - 4:17PM

    Good sense has prevailed in PPP leadership. I agree ‘ No room for blackmail’.

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  • Democrat
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:12PM

    hahahah…i am so happy for the allies parties… they were once again outwitted by mr.z and now with clear majority, these allies are doomed… na idhar k rahe na udhar k….poor them

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  • rafiq
    Mar 10, 2012 - 7:22PM

    comments as that of Mr. Democrat seems to be absurd.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 10, 2012 - 10:57PM

    The blackmailing, threats and playing games no more. Only in Pakistan where tiny parties want to rule the whole country. They want to rule yet not take any responsiblity and act as opposition parties. If PPP govt is so bad then their allies should be worse to support them?

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  • Democrat
    Mar 11, 2012 - 8:58AM

    well my comments are now absurd? can you plz check the news just before the 20th amendment and senate election? the PPP idiots were screaming that they are doing the politics of reconciliation and sub ko sath lekar chlna chahte hai… what changed in 1 week? as imran khan says, mukmuka ki siyasat hai… when they find themselves in any danger, they unite … any how with dumb heads and idiots still in abundance in pakistan, the poor nation cannot get rid of these so called politiciians (political mafias)…brace for a 50 year rule of bilawal after mr.z rule us for 30 years…and then the children of bilwala and then their children and then their children…

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