ISLAMABAD: Over 65% of the senators who are due to retire on March 11, 2021 belong to the opposition parties after serving their six-year constitutional term.
Giving the party position in the national and regional assemblies that make up the Senate electoral college, the opposition parties who have threatened to send en masse resignations from the assemblies as part of their continuing anti-government movement will not be able to retain their majority in the upper house of parliament, even though their representatives do not resign from the legislature
Out of the 52 lawmakers withdrawing from the new 103-member Senate in March next year, 34 belong to the minority parties and 18 to the treasury bench, the term-wise data of the senators reveals.
Read Also: 25 injured in Rawalpindi grenade explosion
The Senate’s total strength is 104, but former PML-N finance minister Ishaq Dar has not taken an oath as a senator since he and former PML-N finance minister Nawaz Sharif have been living in self-exile in London.
The PML-N will be the biggest loser in terms of representation in the Senate as 57 per cent of its members — the highest number belonging to a single party — are expected to retire this March following completion of their six-year term. The data reveals that of its 30 new senators, 17 are due to retire next year in March.
Opposition Leader Zafarul Haq, Deputy Chairman Mandviwala, Minister of Information Shibli Faraz, JI President Sirajul Haq, and PPP and PML-N parliamentary leaders are among those expected to retire.
Opposition chief Raja Zafarul Haq, party parliamentary leader Mushahidullah Khan and former Minister of Information Pervaiz Rasheed are notable among the retired PML-N senators.
Eight presidents of the PPP are among the 52 senators who will complete their six-year tenure, the data reveals. Out of the 21 incumbent PPP senators, Deputy Senate Chairman Saleem Mandviwala, Parliamentary Leader Sherry Rehman, former Interior Minister Rehman Malik and former Law Minister Farooq Naek are among the eight members to retire.
However, owing to the bulk of the PPP in the Sindh Assembly, the chances of Mr Mandviwala, Mr Malik and Mr Naek returning to the Senate are bright.
Two members each of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), National Party (NP) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and one each of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Awami National Party (ANP) are withdrawing from the Senate, also known as the House of the Federation, in addition to the PML-N and the PPP. Among the retired senators is JI Leader Sirajul Haq.
Seven of its existing 14 senators, mainly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, are expected to retire next year, as far as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is concerned. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Mohsin Aziz and Nauman Wazir are the most influential of those retiring from the PTI.
The PTI, which was first elected in the Senate in 2015, is not only expected to boost its representation, but because of its numerical dominance in the Punjab and KP assemblies, it still has the chance to become the single largest party in the assembly.
Among other 18 outgoing treasury senators, four belong to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and three to the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), while four independents are from the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
The MQM senators who will be completing their terms are Khushbakht Shujaat, Mian Ateeq Sheikh, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif and Nighat Mirza.
Senator Usman Kakar of Firebrand PkMAP is retiring, too. Similarly, Maulana Ataur Rehman of JUI-F, Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s brother, and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, the party’s secretary general, are among the retired senators.
The ANP is the other party on the edge of expulsion from the Senate, when its only member, Sitara Ayaz, will also retire. And the party has virtually no hope of seeing any member elected to the house considering the party position in the legislatures.
Ms. Ayaz, however is a dissident of the ANP and was not an official member of the opposition after she was expelled at the time of the vote on the failed confidence motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, for reportedly dismissing the party.
There are 104 members of the Senate, 23 each from the four units of the union, eight from Fata and four from Islamabad. The 23 provincial seats are comprised of 14 general seats, four reserved for women, four reserved for technocrats, and one reserved for minority members.
A senator’s tenure is six years, but after every three years, 50 percent of the total amount retires and elections are held for new senators. Elections are conducted in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote” to fill the seats assigned to each province.
The upcoming Senate will consist of 98 senators, as four empty seats from the tribal areas of the country will not be elected following their unification with the KP. Therefore in the four regional assemblies and the National Assembly, the Senate elections often depend on the party seats.