• Sharjeel sees no harm in supporting ex-PTI leader
• Three lawmakers take oath in PA session
• Polling for 12 Senate seats from Sindh today

KARACHI: A day before the polling for 12 Senate seats in the province, the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party on Monday withdrew one of its candidates and decided to support independent candidate Faisal Vawda on a general seat in the upper house election being held today.

Officials said that PPP candidate Sarfaraz Rajar submitted an application before the returning officer (RO) asking him to notify his retirement from the Senate polls. The RO accepted his plea and announced that he stood retired.

The polling for 12 Senate seats — seven general, two each reserved for women and technocrats and one reserved for minorities — from Sindh will be held on Tuesday in the provincial assembly that has been declared a polling station by the Election Commission of Pakistan

In total, 19 candidates are in the fray for the 12 seats after the withdrawal of the candidature of PPP’s Sarfraz Rajar.

Based on its numerical strength with 117 members in the house, the PPP is all set to bag a total of 10 seats — five general, two women, as many technocrat and one minority seats.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan will easily get one seat with 37 MPAs in the house. The party had already announced that it would give its additional votes to Mr Vawda, whose candidature was proposed by party’s Ali Khurshidi and seconded by Adil Askari. Mr Vawda’s chances for win were bright after the PPP’s decision to withdraw Mr Rajar from the race.

Also, the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council members (PTI-backed independents) have decided against voting in the Senate elections, while three members of the Grand Democratic Alliance have still not taken oath.

‘Nothing wrong in supporting Vawda’

Talking to the media on the premises of the Sindh Assembly minutes before the assembly session, Senior Minister and PPP leader Sharjeel Inam Memon categorically said that there was nothing wrong in supporting Faisal Vawda.

He said he was an independent candidate and not affiliated with any political party. “There is no issue if Faisal Vawda decides to become a senator,” he said.

He added that the former federal minister had earlier been affiliated with a political party, but now he was contesting the election as an independent candidate and not representing any specific party.

Two Muttahida, one PPP MPAs take oath

Two members belonging to the MQM-P and one lawmaker affiliated with the PPP took oath in the Sindh Assembly session on Monday.

Speaker Awais Qadir Shah administered the oath on Dr Fauzia Hameed and Musarat Jabeen of the MQM-P and PPP’s Zubair Junejo.

Later, the speaker prorogued the session.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2024

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