PPP announces support for Sadiq Sanjrani for Senate chairman

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Sanjrani is the first-ever Senate chairman from Balochistan province.

He tweets, "Congratulations to Baloch Senator Sadiq Sanjirani for becoming Chairman Senate".

Talking to media following a meeting between party chairman Imran Khan and Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, the spokesperson said the party chief agreed on Sadiq Sanjrani as candidate for Senate chairmanship.

He said the party has made a decision to back Sadiq Sanjrani for the office of Senate chairman and field Saleem Mandviwalla for deputy chairman.

Hailing from the Sanjrani tribe, mainly based in the remote Chagai district which borders Afghanistan and Iran, the newly-elected chairman - who has just turned 40 - is also the youngest chairman of the Upper House.

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Tough competition is expected between Saleem Mandviwalls of PPP, who is supported by opposition and Usman Kakar of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Partys (PkMAP), an ally of the ruling party.

Shortly before, Nawaz Sharif, ex-prime minister and leader of that group, was in favor of keeping Raza Rabbani of the PPP as head of the upper house.

In another blow to the ruling PML-N and its allies, PPP's Saleem Mandviwalla was elected as the deputy chairman and was sworn in by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sajrani.

Sanjrani had been backed by the joint opposition, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and independents from Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

ANP Senator Sitara Ayaz said its sole vote would go to the ruling coalition's candidates as the PPP had refused to field Raza Rabbani as its candidate for the slot of chairman.

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This Thursday the leadership of the League met to draw up a strategy to add the 53 votes needed to appoint the president and vice president of the Senate. If elected, Sanjrani will enable the PPP to have its fourth nominated (or supported) chairman of the Senate consecutively. He also served as special assistant to former chief minister of Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri. Senators were then invited to sign the member rolls.

Half of the senators are elected for six years, and half for three years.

Meanwhile, the PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif will announce final candidate for the slot of the Senate chairman from among Mushahidullah Khan, Pervaiz Rashid and Mir Hasil Bizenjo today (Monday) before the election.

However, PML-N's chairman nominee Raja Zafarul Haq denied the claims and said, "Fata's senators will vote for the government, they will not vote for the opposition".

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