LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Dr Asif Kirmani has been elected unopposed to the Senate seat vacated by PPP’s Babar Awan.

Mr Awan tendered his resignation on June 29 after joining the Imran Khan-led PTI.

Dr Kirmani and Hafiz Nauman, both from the ruling PML-N and an independent candidate Sarfraz Qureshi had filed their nominations for Senate seat from Punjab quota.

Candidatures of both the PML-N aspirants sailed through the scrutiny process of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) but nomination of Mr Qureshi was rejected, for he could not find any proposer and seconder for him, a legal requirement.

In the meantime, Mr Nauman withdrew his papers by submitting a written application to the returning officer, paving way for unopposed election of Dr Kirmani as a senator for the rest of Mr Awan’s term – up to March 2018.

With the election of Dr Kirmani, the PML-N will also become the largest party in the upper house of the bicameral parliament where its strength will rise to 26.

Earlier, the PPP enjoyed the majority party status in Senate, which comprises 104 members.

Dr Kirmani, son of a Pakistan Movement worker late Saeed Kirmani, had been associated with Nawaz Sharif since the return of the latter from exile, back in 2007.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2017