At least 7 Senators ditched Nawaz Sharif at the last moment for Chairman Senate elections

At least 7 Senators ditched Nawaz Sharif at the last moment for Chairman Senate elections

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is in shock as it has been revealed that at least seven Senators ditched Nawaz Sharif in the Senate elections.

PML N suspects at least seven senators, including a couple of its own, ditched it in the election of Senate chairman and deputy chairman.

Raja Zafarul Haq, the candidate of the ruling alliance for the chairman, secured 46 votes — the exact total of the members of the four parties which were part of the five-party ruling alliance. This clearly shows that either no one from outside the alliance voted for Mr Haq or some of the members from within the alliance had voted for the opponents in violation of party discipline.

A number of PML-N leaders, including those who remained part of the consultations within the party and in the negotiations with other parties, said they had taken part in the elections with confidence that the ruling alliance would secure 57 votes after being assured of support by their allies and other parties.

“We had calculated 57 votes for us and 46 for the opponents. However, it turned the other way round,” said a senior PML-N leader, who described the day-long development as “depressing”.

The five-party ruling alliance presently has 48 members in the 104-member upper house of parliament. With the absence of senator-elect Ishaq Dar, the PML-N had been left with 32 senators, followed by five members each of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and the National Party (NP), four members of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) and one member of the PML-Functional.

The PML-N leader claimed their vote tally had reached 53 with the support of the two members of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), two senators from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and a Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) member and a member of the Awami National Party (ANP), which had assured the ruling party of their support.