Senate election result | by Rizwan Ghani


Senate election result

AS per the Senate election results, governing PTI has become the biggest party in the house with 26 seats.

Yousaf Raza Gillani’s victory from Islamabad was expected. Opposition has won more seats in Senate than government and its allies.

There are unconfirmed reports that one senator from government side could be disqualified which could minus one more seat.

It will make things difficult for the government including making changes in the law. The ECP conducted the election successfully.

PM has decided to get vote of confidence after Gillani’s victory. He is likely to get 172 votes because Fozia Arshad got 174 votes showing that party can get the required votes.

However, there are speculations about some defections prompting PM statement of sitting in the opposition.

It shows that assembly will not be dissolved. As per the law, all those not voting for the party or showing up will be disqualified.

Reportedly, President summoned National Assembly for the PM to take vote of confidence under Article 91(7).

Interior Minister (IM) is optimistic about Saturday’s NC victory in National Assembly. The opposition has not challenged it either.

But it is opined that that no confidence motion can be brought against the PM within six months even if he survives this time. The law has been changed and it is a bad move.

They should have let the opposition bring NC motion and then show 172 votes. Regarding Gillani’s victory from Islamabad, there is lot of criticism.

The supporters of power politics defend the victory vehemently despite checkered history of the individual and the party. Opposition’s election strategy was public from the outset.

Opposition candidate is all set to become Senate Chairman because opposition has 53 seat and government 47.

The strategy of opposition to stay within the democratic system and challenging the government has paid off.

The opposition is using its victory on Islamabad seat as if it has upper hand. The results tell a different story.

PTI with 26 seats is leading party followed by PPP (21 seats), PML N (18) and BAP (12).

Islamabad seat is being given importance as it is Electoral College of complete national assembly and PM’s constituency.

The new composition of Senate will get to play its due role in country’s politics in next three years and help overcome very serious challenges.

Government’s reaction against the Senate results is unwarranted. The numbers show that PTI is in lead.

Islamabad defeat is widely believed to be the reaction against Hafeez Shaikh’s economic policies more than the corruption allegations being raised by the PM and his other party members.

It is continuation of Daska trend where public voted against government’s IMF backed policies imposing ever increasing cost of living including utility bills, fuel prices and medicines.

Public is skeptical of opposition’s jubilation on Senate results also. People are mere spectators in government-opposition standoff because their tussle is for power not public welfare and improving democratic accountability.

The government and the opposition should come together to solve problems of public and help overcome economic and security challenges faced by the country.

The address of PM and post election press conferences of FM and other cabinet members are at best disappointing. Corruption is the main issue.

PM criticised it in his address. The Senate has been elected. Parliament is in session.

It is democratic responsibility of PM and team to engage with the opposition and pass laws to end this menace which is holding the country hostage and made life of ordinary people unbearable.

Nation is witness that no one has stopped the PM from holding across the board accountability, bringing right man for the right job and improve the economy but almost 31 months have passed and there is no progress in good governance including 120 accountability courts, police reforms, judiciary, bureaucracy and media. We fallen by two points on Human Development index and 4 on corruption.

The criticism of EC is political and it has set bad precedent. The press statement of EC is timely. The opinion of the SC is not binding on the EC.

PM should go to the parliament to bring desired changes in the Constitution because SC and EC cannot amend it and it is unfair to target them.

Secret Ballot is the second reference of the President which has been rejected by the SC which would have forced the president to resign in any western democracy. Parliament will have to make changes in Constitution for open ballot.

But then any change in the Constitution is subject to judicial review in which court can review and cancel government legislation that is held to have been passed illegally.

In modern world secrecy of ballot is the basic feature of democracy and it is absolute.

The removal of secrecy of ballot is itself corruption which will force voters out of fear to vote for the powerful.
—The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad.