Bizenjo warns against delaying no-trust motion

Published: July 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Senator Hasil Bizenjo, the opposition parties’ joint candidate for the top Senate slot, warned on Friday that any attempt to delay the no-confidence motion against the chairman of the upper house of parliament, would be in violation of the constitution.

“A session [of the Senate] should be called immediately for voting,” he told the media after a meeting of parties.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, the leader of the opposition in the house, said the opposition had submitted a letter to the Senate secretariat informing the Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani that he could not chair the session convened for the no-confidence motion.

The opposition parties in their letter have informed the secretariat that moving a no-confidence motion against the Senate chairman was as per the constitution and if the majority of the house voted against him, Sanjrani had to quit the post.

They also insisted that contrary to the secretariat’s earlier claim, there was no provision in the constitution that prohibited moving a no-confidence motion in a requisitioned session.

Bizenjo said the secretariat did not point out any flaws in the no-trust motion for four days after it was submitted and then the Senate chairman wrote a letter to the opposition.

“We went through the letter and prepared a response which has been submitted to the secretariat,” he added.

Bizenjo further noted that 55 opposition senators had participated in a meeting held on Thursday – a number that was enough to de-seat the Senate chairman.

“This number will increase to over 60 in the next meeting of the opposition senators on Monday,” he maintained.

“It is important to convene a session as soon as possible so that the opposition senators’ majority in the house becomes clear.”

Bizenjo further claimed that the opposition had 66 senators while only 33 lawmakers supported the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“If the government wants to blackmail us using personal videos, it can go ahead with it. And if it thinks it can buy off opposition senators, it is mistaken.”

Speaking about PML-N Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s arrest on Thursday, Bizenjo said the government was using different pressure tactics against the opposition.

He further said the removal of the Senate chairman had nothing to do with a tribe or the province of Balochistan and it was an issue that concerned the entire country.

Senator Sherry Rehman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said the opposition had submitted a no-confidence motion to the secretariat in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

“The requisition was submitted as per the rules and regulations,” she added.

“After July 9 when the requisition was submitted, a session has to be convened within 14 days.”

Rehman further said despite the opposition lawmakers having a majority in the house, the Senate chairman is refusing to step down.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Senator Maulana Ghafoor Haideri said the opposition parties had no personal grudge against the Senate chairman and it was a move against the government.

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