Ishaq Dar appointed as presiding officer for Senate chairman, deputy chairman polls

Nausheen Yusuf
PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar is speaking on the floor of the National Assembly. —X/@NAofPakistan/File
PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar is speaking on the floor of the National Assembly. —X/@NAofPakistan/File

  • Only present senator can be presiding officer.
  • PM Shehbaz advised president to appoint Dar.
  • Senate polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa postponed.

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar has been appointed as the presiding officer for elections of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman as well as the swearing-in of the newly elected senators.

On advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Asif Zardari appointed Dar as the PO by signing the summary.

The Senate secretariat said that according to the parliamentary tradition, only a present senator can be the presiding officer of the first session.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday postponed Senate elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the opposition members filed a plea seeking postponement due to a stand-off with the provincial government over oath-taking of MPAs-elect on the reserved seats.

On the other hand, polling was underway on the vacant seats of the Senate in the National Assembly and two provincial assemblies with the ruling alliance — comprising Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and other smaller parties — set to gain a two-thirds majority in the upper house of Parliament.

Polling started at 9am and will continue till 4pm at the National Assembly, Punjab Assembly and Sindh Assembly, while all the 11 candidates in Balochistan have been elected unopposed.

The polling was scheduled to be conducted to elect 48 senators, initially, 11 each from KP and Balochistan, 12 each from Punjab and Sindh and two from Islamabad.

However, after the unopposed election of 18 senators from Punjab and Balochistan, now the elections will be held for 30 vacant seats and 59 candidates are in the field to reach the Senate.