Geneva [Switzerland], November 2 (ANI): In a setback for Pakistan, chairman of its Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani lost in the election to the post of President of Inter Parliamentary Union to Portugal Member of Parliament Duarte Pacheco.
Duarte Pacheco was elected President for a three-year term defeating candidates from Pakistan, Uzbekistan (Akmal Saidov, First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber) and Canada (Salma Ataullahjan, Senator) during the ongoing virtual session of the Governing Council of IPU.
Portugal candidate Pacheco got 222 votes, much above the majority mark of 198 votes while Pakistani candidate received only 52 votes. The elections were held securely through online medium.
Pakistani Senate Chairman had widely canvassed for his candidature and had even travelled to few countries to campaign. By his own admission, he had also tried to contact the other three candidates, but could not even get a response.
It is a general practice to ensure regular rotation between geopolitical groups while electing a President. Over the past twenty years, the presidency of the IPU has been held by MPs from Egypt (Arab Group. 1994-1997), Spain (Twelve Plus Group, 1997-1999), India (Asia -Pacific Group, 1999-2002), Chile (Group of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2002-2005), Morocco (Arab Group, 2011-2014), Bangladesh (Asia-Pacific Group, 2014-17) and Mexico (2017-2020).
The outgoing president is a Mexican MP Gabriela Cuevas Barron, who was elected in October 2017.
By the principle of geographical rotation, the next president should be from the Twelve Plus Group, which comprises of 47 member countries. Twelve Plus group had endorsed the Portuguese candidate by an overwhelming majority of 60:10, rejecting the Pakistani-origin Canadian candidate Ataullahjan.
Defying the generally observed geographical rotation principle, Sanjrani also put forth his candidature. However, he could not garner support within the Governing Council.
From Indian Parliament, Lok Sabha MP Om Birla, Lok Sabha MP Poonamben Maadam and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Swapan Dasgupta cast their votes through a secure online voting mechanism.
The 206th session of the Governing Council of the IPU is being held virtually from November 1 to 4 to elect the IPU President as well as to discuss and take decisions on pressing issues relating to the functioning of the organization - including the adoption of the IPU budget and programme of work for 2021.
The IPU President is the political head of the organization.
The President directs the activities of the organization, chairs full meetings and acts as the IPU representative at global events and gatherings. Presidents are elected for one mandate of three years only by the Governing Council, which is the administrative and decision making body.
The Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), headquartered in Geneva, is the global organization of national parliaments. It was founded 131 years ago in 1889 as the first multilateral political organization in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations.
Today, the IPU comprises 179 national member parliaments and 13 regional parliamentary bodies.
It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced and more diverse.
Twice a year, the IPU convenes over 1,500 parliamentary delegates and partners in a world assembly, bringing a parliamentary dimension to global governance, including the work of the United Nations and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (ANI)