Opposition resisting open voting to promote politics of money: Leader of the House Senator Dr Shahzad Waseem
ISLAMABAD 18-02-2021 – Leader of the House in the Senate Senator Shahzad Waseem on Thursday demanded the Opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) to fulfill their earlier promises of making the Senate election transparent through open voting.
While addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill, the Leader of the House said that the Opposition parties had agreed in the Charter of Democracy (CoD) to ensure transparency in the Senate election.
He further said that the previous recommendations of National Assembly and the Senate reinforced their stance of open balloting in Senate polls. He said the Opposition was contradicting its own stance opted in 2016 against horse-trading in the meeting of Whole Committee of the upper house.
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He said that the Senate had discussed the issue of horse-trading in August 2015 when Mian Raza Rabbani was the Chairman Senate, Raja Zafarul Haq the Leader of House and Aitzaz Ahsan was the Leader of the Opposition.
On August 10, 2015, then Leader of the House had moved a motion to refer the matter to the Senate Committee of the Whole, he added. The Committee of Whole had unanimously recommended that transparency in the Senate elections couldn’t be ensured without electoral reforms. The committee also suggested that the names of the voters should be published on the ballot paper and the vote should be identified, he also said.
Senator Shahzad said that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and slain PPP leader and former PM Benazir Bhutto had signed the Charter of Democracy to ensure transparency in the Senate elections but the promise was never fulfilled.
“Their statements are on record in which they supported the transparency of open ballot,” he said adding that PML-N and PPP passed 18th Amendment but suggested no action to settle the matter. “Despite all the promises, the Opposition did nothing to ensure transparency in the Senate elections,” he said. The leader of the house urged the PPP and the PML-N to fulfill their promise of transparent elections in the upper house through open balloting. He said opposition was resisting open voting just because it wanted horse-trading and to promote politics of money. Earlier, Shahbaz Gill said Prime Minister Imran Khan was committed to end horse-trading and use of money in Senate polls.