The battle for Senate elections

Zardari and JUI-F alliance seen as major breakthrough; Imran Khan terms PPP, PML-N's tactics undemocratic

Web Desk/abdul Manan March 02, 2015
Zardari and JUI-F Chief Fazlur Rehman's alliance is seen as a major breakthrough. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Many within the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz believe that the ruling party has restricted itself to Punjab in regards to forming alliances ahead of the Senate elections, while the Pakistan Peoples Party is steadily gaining the upper hand by joining hands with smaller political parties, including  the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

A source in the cabinet disclosed that the PML-N has restricted itself to Punjab and that "its arrogant attitude" does not allow itself to build alliances for the upcoming Senate elections.

PPP's Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and JUI-F Chief Fazlur Rehman's alliance is seen as a major breakthrough by PML-N members.

A senior member in the federal cabinet, speaking on the condition of anonymity said former president Zardari proved his political skills by winning over JUI-F, MQM, PML-Q, ANP, BNP Awami and has almost staged a coup against the PML-N-led federal government to gain the upper hand in the forthcoming election.

Read: Senate elections: Zardari outwits PML-N, wins support of JUI-F

Official statistics show that the PPP and the JUI-F's new-found alliance proved that Zardari has gained the required number of 53 Senators out of a total 104 Senate members which would give him control in the upper house and allow him to have a chairperson and deputy chairperson of his own choice.

Read: Senate elections: 'ECP failed to honour obligations'

The source further said that the PML-N's leadership restricts itself only to Punjab and its arrogant attitude does not allow itself to build alliances with any of the smaller parties being represented in the Senate.

He added that the prime minister himself avoided building alliances with smaller political parties in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday directed all members of National and provincial assemblies belonging to the PML-N to ensure their attendance in the upcoming sessions of the assemblies.

According to the Prime Minister House, the premier directed PML-N party workers to attend all assembly sessions taking place this week with regards to the Senate election, scheduled for March 5. A National Assembly session has been summoned on March 4.

Read: All must unite to prevent horse trading Senate elections: PM 

Sources have confirmed that Prime Minister Nawaz has taken all party related issues, communication with other political parties and Senate election related affairs in his hands.

Senate seat count

Sources in PPP and the government said Zardari had almost crossed the figure of 53 Senators in the upper house by allying with smaller political parties.

Out of the existing 38 members, PPP has 19, MQM has four, JUI-F has three, ANP has six, PML-Q has four and BNP Awami has two. They said that Zardari is expecting more than 15 Senators after the March 5 Senate election.

Read: Senate elections: PPP, MQM devise final seat adjustment formula

Sources further said that the existing four senators from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have expressed their reservations with the government and conveyed their support to Zardari for top slots in the Senate.

On the other hand, they said that PML-N has the existing strength of nine Senators, eight from the PML-N and one is from PML-Functional. They also said that the PML-N is expecting a further 19 senators after the election on March 5. However, the sources added that keeping in view the strength of its allies with two senators fomr PkMAP and NP each,  the PML-N hardly can bag a total of 35 votes of Senators for top slots in Senate.

They said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s five senators might not support the PML-N in the Senate, while Zardari in his press conference has already vowed to gain every single vote of the Qaumi Watan Party after March 5.

Of a total 104 senators, 53 are required for the positions of chairperson and deputy chairperson.

Imran Khan lashes out

Meanwhile, PTI chief Imran Khan lashed out against Zardari and JUI-F, saying their means of building alliances is akin to 'horse-trading'.

Speaking to the media, Imran said he would not support the PML-N's and the PPP's undemocratic means of gathering support in order to attain seats in the Upper House.


ishrat salim | 6 years ago | Reply @Saud: Do not forget that PML N had persuaded 40 politicians out of 85 from PML Q on their side through massive bribes during 2008 election & it is an open secret...was that not horse trading ? PML N had been master in this trade. So, now fearing mass exodus from disgruntled PML N members to other party, PML N saw stars...but then " what you sow you harvest ".
Usman | 6 years ago | Reply @Saud: When one has no options, it's not called 'principled stand'.
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