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PTI parliamentary board retains Faisal Vawda for Senate elections

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to retain the decision to nominate Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda for the Senate elections, despite the rift within party leaders in Sindh.

The prime minister convened a meeting of the parliamentary board on Tuesday formed to award Senate tickets. Sources revealed the meeting had reportedly agreed to maintain their decision to nominate Faisal Vawda on the general seat in Sindh.

The decision to award the technocrat seat will be taken later. The PTI had earlier nominated wealthy contractor Saifullah Abro for the seat which had also created a rift within the party. Several party leaders had expressed their reservations and claimed that there were cases lodged against him in NAB while he had been a member of the party for the past two years.

The parliamentary board was convened to reconsider the decision regarding the awarding candidates in all provinces. The meeting dismissed all reservations against Faisal Vawda and the prime minister said he had rendered services for the party.  

Prime Minister Imran Khan also held a meeting with Governor Sindh Imran Khan and discussed the Senate elections but could not reach a decision on the technocrat seat. The prime minister is expected to take party leaders into confidence over the decision.

According to a list of candidates issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 56 PTI candidates have filed their nomination papers for 21 expected seats of the ruling party. It means that 36 covering candidates have submitted their nomination papers and now it is up to the prime minister to distribute party tickets to those he deems fit for contesting the Senate elections.

Several members of the parliamentary board had expressed reservations over the nomination of Faisal Vawda for the Senate elections but the prime minister has decided not to remove him from the list of candidates.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, who is also a member of the PTI parliamentary board, said those who were against Vawda’s nomination were justified in opposing him as Vawda was already holding a National Assembly seat.

He said that Vawda is facing a dual nationality case in the ECP and the decision can come against him which can make him ineligible for the Senate seat. Prime Minister Khan had said he would give party tickets for Senate elections on merit and that “no parashooter” would be allowed to become a senator.