ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl's Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri took oath as Senate Deputy Chairman on Thursday evening.
Earlier Raza Rabbani took oath as Senate Chairman and will also be serving as acting president for the duration of President Mamnoon Hussain's four-day visit to Azerbaijan.
"I have to perform the functions of the president under clause two of Article 49 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," said Rabbani while addressing the Senate.
During his speech, the Senate Chairman thanked various senators for their support. He also thanked the opposition and government leaders for coming to a consensus and selecting him as Chairman of the senate.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) had succeeded in winning consensus to nominate its candidate for the deputy chairman position of senate.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also endorsed the decision after which JUI-F's Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Hamndullah filed their nomination papers before the office of the secretary senate.
Abdul Gafoor Haideri was the main candidate and Hamndullah was the covering candidate for deputy chairmanship of senate.
Addressing a press conference, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that, "I am thankful to Asif Ali Zardari and all the lawmakers from Balochistan."
PTI has also decided to contest the deputy chairman senate elections and nominated newly-elected senator Shibli Faraz for the post. Shibli Faraz is the son of noted poet, late Ahmad Faraz.
He obtained the candidature papers and filed them before the Senate Secretariat. Talking to media, Faraz said, "Since political parties are colluding with each other, PTI has decided not to support any other party."
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj ul Haq had also proposed the name of Shibli Faraz for deputy chairman. Dr Jahanzeb Jamal Deeni, from BNP-Mengal had also submitted nomination.
Chief of BNP-Mengal Sardar Akhtar Mengal met premier Sharif at Prime Minister House and discussed the political situation including the Senate elections and sought the prime minister’s support for his candidate Dr Jahanzeb Jamal Deeni.
On the other hand, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo and Mehmood Khan Achakzai met with Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at Parliament House held discussions to reach a consensus candidate from Balochistan.
Moreover, Mian Raza Rabbani was elected as Chairman Senate unopposed, as no other party had chosen to contest their candidate against his nomination.
Earlier, Newly elected members of the Senate took oath of their office on Thursday. The oath was administered by Federal Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.
The oath-taking was followed by signing of the 'Roll of Members'.
The chairperson and deputy chairperson of the house will be elected later during the session.
The Senate’s first session of 13th parliamentary year had been summoned by President Mamnoon Hussain who had also named Senator Ishaq Dar as the Presiding Officer.
Veteran politician, Mian Raza Rabbani, belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had emerged as a consensus candidate for the Senate chairman position.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced support to Raza Rabbani's nomination and visited Asif Ali Zardari at the latter’s residence in Islamabad on Tuesday, taking him into confidence over Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz’s (PML-N) decision.
Senate chairman-designate Raza Rabbani tendered his resignation as additional secretary general of the PPP on Wednesday.
Also read: Opposition agrees on Senate deputy chairman
Mr Rabbani’s name was initially announced by Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan in the presence of representatives of all opposition parties represented in the Senate after a nearly four-hour meeting at Zardari House on Monday.
Also read: Senate election and its set of controversies
During the elections for the Upper House of Parliament held on March 5 and marred by rigging allegations, the ruling PML-N and main opposition PPP had bagged almost equal representation in the Senate over the next three years.
Despite winning the most seats, the PML-N continues to remain a minority government in the Senate with 26 senators as the PPP has maintained its position as the single largest party with 27 senators.