ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Jamiat-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have opposed the 22nd amendment in the Constitution to check horse-trading in upcoming Senate elections.
A meeting of the parliamentary leaders presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was held in Islamabad on Friday for exchange of views on making the Senate polls transparent.
However, the meeting later concluded without achieving consensus on legislation to stop-horse trading in Senate elections scheduled on March 5.
Talking to newsmen after the meeting, political leaders said that the PPP and the JUI-F opposed the amendment at this stage.
The PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf said that his party wants free and transparent elections in the country. However, he said that no amendment should be made without evolving consensus of all the political parties.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Arif Alvi said that his party supports the prime minister’s proposal of constitutional amendment to eliminate horse-trading in the Senate elections. He said that in today’s meeting majority of leaders favoured the amendment but consensus could not be reached because of reservations of PPP and JUI-F.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar said that his party fully supports the amendment to stop horse trading in upcoming Senate elections. The Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Sahibzada Tariqullah said that his party also supports constitutional amendment to stop horse-trading.
The Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour opposed horse trading while Abbas Khan Afridi said that the federal administrated tribal areas (FATA) members have assured the prime minister their support to any move to ensure transparency in Senate elections.
Nawaz terms horse-trading an act of disgrace for all parliamentarians
Earlier, in his address at the meeting, the prime minister strongly condemned horse-trading and termed it an act of disgrace for all parliamentarians.
The prime minister called upon parliamentary leaders to play role in stopping horse-trading before the Senate polls.
“We have a joint obligation to check this corrupt practice of buying votes with money and ensure sanctity of the Upper House,” the prime minister said.
The prime minister said that some people without any party affiliation want to contest the Senate election on the basis of money. He said that this is not about buying votes, but about buying a parliamentarian’s conscience.
Nawaz Sharif mentioned media reports about the use of money before the Senate election and said all political parties need to work together to stop this practice.