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Sanjrani Survives No-Confidence As Opposition Size Shrank From 64 To 50 Within Two Hours

Less than two hours after the passage of a resolution to move a no-confidence motion against the Senate chairman with 64 votes out of 100, Sadiq Sanjrani survived the opposition’s move to unseat him on Thursday.

The opposition needed 53 votes, but things changed quickly in secret balloting, as the no-confidence motion could attract only 50 votes. Five votes were rejected, while 45 were cast against the no-confidence motion.

This defeat raised the question of party loyalties as 14 opposition senators switched sides at the last moment.

It was for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a no-confidence motion had been submitted against the Senate chairman. The opposition had nominated National Party leader Hasil Bizenjo as their candidate for the post of Senate chairman.

The opposition has a total of 67 members. PML-N’s Chaudhry Tanvir, who has reportedly fallen ill, was not in attendance. Out of the remaining 66 senators, two belong to the Jamaat-i-Islami, which decided to abstain from the proceedings. The government and its allies constituted the remaining 36 members, all of whom were present in the House.

At the beginning of the session, Barrister Saif directed senators who were in favour of the no-confidence resolution against Sanjrani tabled by the opposition to stand. About 64 senators had stood up in support.

Opposition Leader in the Senate Raja Zafar-ul-Haq had then moved the resolution but said that the opposition will not make any speeches even though the rules allow a debate.

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