In a follow-up to the recent accountability wave which witnessed the incarceration of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, the respective parties have reportedly joined hands to remove the incumbent Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
According to a report by a private media house published late Monday night, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto reached the understanding following their Sunday meeting at former’s Jati Umra residence in Lahore.
The report revealed that the meeting, which was attended by the aides of both leaders, unanimously agreed to oust Sanjrani, who was elected as the chairman of the Upper House in March last year as a joint candidate of PPP and PTI. He secured 57 votes and defeated PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq who bagged 46 votes.
However, the name of the new candidate will be announced after discussion with all opposition parties, the report said.
Section 11 of rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Senate-2012 explains the procedure as to how the chairman and the deputy chairman can be removed from their office. “(1) Not less than one-fourth of the total membership of the house may give to the Secretary notice in writing of a motion for leave to move a resolution under Article 61 read with paragraph (c) of clause (7) of Article 53 of the Constitution for the removal from office of the chairman or the deputy chairman and the secretary shall forthwith circulate the notice to the members. The chairman or, as the case may be, the deputy chairman shall not preside over a sitting of the Senate in which a resolution for his removal from office is fixed for consideration. Voting on the resolution shall be by secret ballot which shall be held in such manner as the presiding officer may direct. The chairman or, as the case may be, deputy chairman shall stand removed from his office on the resolution being passed by a majority of the total membership of the Senate.”
Which means support of 53 members is required to remove the Senate chairman. The opposition is in a comfortable position to replace Sanjrani with PML-N having the biggest presence in the Upper House. The post of the chairman is significant to regulate the house. Likewise, in the absence of the President, the chairman acts as the symbolic leader of the country.
It is pertinent to mention here that during a presser on January 12, Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla, a PPP stalwart, confirmed that efforts were underway to remove Sanjrani from his office.