KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has contacted senior leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for talks on electing candidates for the seats of Senate chairman and deputy chairman, in an attempt to block the ruling party’s bid to elect its candidate.
According to sources, PPP intends to have its own candidate elected for the chairman position while it has offered PTI deputy chairman seat.
PPP claimed that PTI leadership responded in positive to the idea and has also assured the party of convincing PTI chief Imran Khan.
In Saturday’s Senate elections, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-baked independent candidates bagged 15 seats, making it the single largest party in the upper house. However, PPP, which bagged 12 seats, disputed PML-N’s claim, and also said it has support of independent candidates from Balochistan.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Sunday said that the party is in contact with other parties and will try to bring a candidate for Senate chairman from the opposition.
Meanwhile PTI won six seats, taking its total count to 12.
Possible candidates for Senate chairmanship
Sources informed Geo News that PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq has been a strong contender for the top post in the upper house, while the name of Pervaiz Rasheed is also under consideration.
The PML-N, however, may consider if the PPP nominates outgoing Senate chairman Raza Rabbani, according to sources.
Sources further said the PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari considers Salim Mandviwala and Sherry Rehman as strong candidates for Senate chairmanship.
Bilawal, on the other hand, favours Rabbani as the PPP candidate, sources added. The PPP chairman may have Sherry Rehman as his second priority for the top Senate post.
Sheikh Rasheed says general elections more important
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed meanwhile said whether the chairman and deputy chairman are from PPP or some other party is insignificant, as everyone has their eyes on upcoming general elections and presidency.