Those wanting to hijack Senate elections are stain on democracy: PM Imran

Open voting is the only way to stop horse-trading, the premier adds


Our Correspondent February 22, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: PTI Facebook page

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that has said that those wanting to hijack the Senate elections were a stain on democracy.

The premier made these remarks during a telephonic conversation with PM’s adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan during which consultations on ongoing parliamentary sessions, constitutional and legal issues and the upcoming Senate elections were held.

“Open voting is the only way to stop horse-trading in the Senate,” PM Imran asserted.

The premier also discussed the arrest of Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh.

Expressing concern on the matter, Babar said that Sheikh was subjected to custodial torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.

On February 19, the premier said that the opposition planned to "buy" lawmakers from the ruling party to ensure more of its candidates get elected to the Senate as he continued his criticism of the opposition's roadblocking of the open ballot proposal.

Read more: Opposition wants to 'buy' lawmakers for Senate elections: PM Imran

Since securing an overwhelming win in the 2018 elections, the PTI government has been eager to hold Senate elections early through an open vote.

While the ruling party has claimed that the latter would promote transparency, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has sternly opposed and termed it an attempt by the government to prevent its lawmakers from switching loyalties.

Subsequently, the government presented a bill seeking to amend the Constitution for an open vote in the Senate elections.

Though it was passed from the standing committee concerned, the National Assembly witnessed a noisy session when the government presented the 26th constitutional amendment bill in NA. The bill has yet to be passed by the assembly.


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