Amid deliberations over the office of the deputy chairman of Senate, the Forty eight newly elected senators will take oath as members of the upper house of Parliament today (Thurs).
Under the rules of procedure as well as conduct of business, the very first thing the senators would have to do after getting oath will be to elect the Senate chairman as well as subsequently, the deputy chairman.
The name of Senator Raza Rabbani – who resigned as the deputy secretary general of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Wed – has already been finalised for the coveted upper house top position. He’ll likely be elected unopposed today, unless somebody else sends in nomination for the post.
Sub-section Three of the Senate rules says that “at anytime prior to 12 noon on the day fixed for election, almost any member may propose yet another member for election as chairman by supplying to the secretary a nomination paper finalized by him and also accompanied by a statement by the member whose name is suggested that he’s willing to serve as chairman, if elected.”
“A member who has been selected may, in writing, withdraw his candidature at any moment before the Senate proceeds to elect a chairman,” the section includes.
Approximately the same procedure has also been laid down for the election of the deputy chairman.
Based on the Senate secretariat, the session of the house will start at 10 am. After the recitation of the Holy Quran, the secretary will announce the presiding officer who’ll administer the oath to the newly elected members, who’ll then sign the roll of members. The secretary will then announce the programme for the chairman and deputy chairman. If required, balloting will be held at 3 pm.
After their election, the chairman as well as deputy chairman is going to take the oath of their offices.
Ex- president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has played his hand intelligently. He’s not only retained the chairman’s office for a representative of his party, but properly secured the key post of the leader of opposition too by announcing Aitzaz Ahsan as a candidate for the position.
“PPP has decided to continue with Aitzaz Ahsan as the leader of the opposition in the Senate,” Senator Saeed Ghani informed . Ghani himself will assist as the party’s chief whip in the upper house.
Following the precedent set in earlier times, PPP and its allied parties in the opposition on Mon made a decision that the office of the deputy chairman will go to someone from Baluchistan. Ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) approved the decision a day after, but smaller parties are still separated over who to support for the slot.