The ruling PPP in Sindh is trying hard to win nearly 09 seats in Senate elections. The polling in Sindh assembly will take place tomorrow. According to the numerical strength of PPP in Sindh Assembly, it was poised to win 06 seats while opposition parties were expecting to win 05 remaining seats.
But the differences have emerged in opposition parties on the issue of Senate tickets. At least 15 members of opposition parties including PTI and MQM-P are expected to vote for PPP candidates. PPP is making all-out effort to take advantage of differences in opposition ranks. PPP has made the target of winning nine seats, out of 11 seats of the Sindh province in the
Senate elections, more than three seats irrespective of its numerical strength in the Sindh Assembly.
If PPP succeeded to win 09 seats from Sindh instead of 06 then its tally in Senate will increase to 22 seats from 19. It means ruling alliance in Senate will lose three seats and its numbers could even reduce to 41. The number of senators from opposition could rise to 56.
The total strength of the ruling PPP in the Sindh Assembly’s 168 House is 103 with 99 own legislators and three MPAs of Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and one of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and it can easily win six seats — four general, one reserved for a technocrat and one for a woman — on the basis of its numbers. But, the PPP has fielded candidates on all 11 seats in total disregard of its numerical strength in the assembly.
The opposition has strength of 65 in the Sindh Assembly, having 30 MPAs of PTI, 21 of MQM-P and 14 of GDA. Based on its number, it can easily win five seats, three general and one seat each reserved for women and technocrats.
The PPP has fielded seven candidates on general seats which are — Sherry Rehman, Taj Haider, Saleem Mandviwala, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar, Advocate Shahadat Awan, Sadiq Memon and Dost Ali Jessar. Barrister Farooq H Naek and Karim Ahmed Khawaja are candidates for two technocrat seats while Palwasha Khan and Rukhsana Parveen are the party’s candidates for two women seats.
The PTI has nominated Faisal Vawda on a general seat and Saifullah Abro on a technocrat seat while the MQM-P has fielded Syed Faisal Ali Sabzwari and Khalida Ateeb on a general and a seat reserved for women, respectively. The GDA has fielded Pir Sadruddin Shah on a general seat.
According to the figures, if the PPP succeeded to get the support of 10 more MPAs, then it can win a total of nine seats of the Senate, five general, two technocrat and two women and the opposition can get only two Senate seats, one general and one technocrat or women.
The rebellion is taking place inside the PTI parliamentary party in Sindh. At least six of its MPs are unlikely to cast votes for the party’s candidates in the elections for the Upper House.
According to a PTI insider, three more MPAs, including a lawmaker elected on a minority seat, are not in contact with the PTI leadership and in all likelihood will announce not to vote for the party’s candidates. Besides, three PTI MPAs, including Karim Bux Gabol, Shahryar Khan Shar and Aslam Abro, have announced that they would not cast votes for the PTI candidates in the Senate election.
Alarmed over the developments, the PTI has directed all its MPs to assemble at a local hotel by Tuesday from where they would be taken together to cast vote in the Sindh Assembly to avoid any ‘poaching of its votes’.
Allegations of horse-trading during Senate elections are not new for the Sindh Assembly. In the 2018 Senate elections, many of the 51 lawmakers belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan had voted for PPP candidates, instead of their own party’s, due to which the ruling party grabbed more seats in the upper house of parliament than expected.
It was, however, in 2015 when the Senate candidates in Sindh returned successful in a transparent manner because of an agreement between the PPP and the-then Altaf Hussain-led unified MQM, with the former getting seven and the latter getting four seats.
Unlike Punjab where all candidates have already returned unopposed following an understanding between rival parties to end horse-trading, no such model is in the sight in Sindh where 17 candidates are in the run for 11 Senate seats — seven general and two seats each reserved for technocrats and women.
The total number of lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly is 168 and 24 votes are required for winning one general seat and 56 votes are needed for a reserved seat.
The PTI and MQM-P have been facing internal issues over distribution of Senate tickets and there are disgruntled lawmakers in both the parties, who are reportedly ready to act on their own instead of following party directives as the elections will takes place through secret ballot.
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