*ISLAMABAD: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) last minute move has turned the table for the Senate Chairmanship. *
*MQM has announced its support for PPP and PTI-backed nominee Senator Sadiq Sanjrani for the office of Senate chairman.*
With the MQM-P’s support, the number of senators backing up Sanjrani is said to have increased to 53 in the 104-member house, which is sufficient to elect him.
Speaking to the media, MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said all five senators of the party will vote for the independent senator from Balochistan for the office of Senate chairman.
However, he said his party wouldn’t support PPP’s Saleem Mandviwala for the office of deputy chairman.
Siddiqui made this announcement after a meeting with Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudus Bijenzo in the federal capital.
With both government and opposition claiming to have the required votes to grab the top offices of the Upper House, a tough contest is expected between their nominees.
The Senate will meet at 4:00 pm today when secret balloting for its chairman and deputy chairman will be held.
PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan said earlier today the ruling party and his allies have agreed to field Raja Zafarul Haq for Senate chairmanship and Usman Kakar for deputy chairmanship.
The opposition parties, mainly Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), have combined forces to vote for an independent senator from Balochistan for Senate chairman.