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November 27, 2019

PTI’s Zeeshan Khanzada elected Senator from KP

Top Story

November 27, 2019

PESHAWAR: Zeeshan Khanzada of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was elected member of the Senate from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by defeating Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Farzand Ali Khan backed by the joint opposition.

The 34-year old Zeeshan Khanzada, who belongs to Mardan and had joined the PTI recently, obtained 104 votes while Farzand Ali Khan could get 31 only.

The PTI has 95 MPAs in the 145-member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, but its candidate got nine more votes than the party strength. It seems some of the independents and those belonging to smaller parties also voted for the PTI nominee.

The combined opposition has 41 MPAs in the provincial assembly, but its candidate could secure 31 votes only. All the opposition parties including Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) had pledged support for the PPP candidate.

The JUI-F has 16, ANP 12, PML-N six and PPP five members in the assembly which makes the number 39. One of the opposition belonging to the ANP is out of the country. The Jamaat-i-Islami, also part of the opposition, has two members, but they abstained from voting.

The addition of one more Senator would strengthen the PTI in the Senate where the opposition has been dominant. Polling in the by-election for the Senate seat was held at the provincial assembly hall here on Tuesday. The polling started in the morning and continued smoothly till late afternoon.

The seat fell vacant after the abrupt resignation of PPP’s Khanzada Khan, who claimed he took the decision on moral grounds after his son Zeeshan Khanzada quit the PPP and joined the PTI. However, certain PPP leaders weren’t convinced by Khanzada Khan’s explanation.

Of the 145 MPAs, 139 cast their votes. Four votes were rejected. The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) opted to stay away from the election as its members Inayatullah Khan, elected from Upper Dir, and Sirajuddin, representing Bajaur, did not cast their votes.

Three MPAs including PTI’s Taj Muhammad, Awami National Party (ANP)’s Faisal Zaib and Faisal Zaman, an independent, could not participate in the election as they are presently abroad.

Four independents, four belonging to the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and one member from the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) are also part of the assembly.