Bilawal hopeful court won't allow Senate elections through open ballot

By: News Desk      Published: 08:10 PM, 8 Feb, 2021
Bilawal hopeful court won't allow Senate elections through open ballot
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.–File photo

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Monday the government was sending a wrong message within the country as well as to the outside world. 

Speaking to the media, Bilawal said his party had decided to give the government a tough time in the upcoming Senate elections. He said it was always easy to cast your vote as guided by your conscience. He said that some lawmakers from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would not vote for their party in the upcoming Senate elections even if the elections are conducted through open ballot. He said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) would compete against the government in the Senate elections. He said the PPP wanted to wage a struggle against the government while living in the system. 

The PPP chairman said the incompetent government was trying to fix the match before the Senate elections and make the elections for the upper house of the parliament controversial. He said what was done in the general elections of 2018 was being repeated in the Senate elections. He said this policy could bring the parliament as well as the court into dispute. He said the right to secret ballot was the basic right of voters in every election, but the government was attacking MPAs’ right to secret ballot. 

Bilawal said that opposition parties believed in electoral reforms, but the government did not want free and fair elections. He said the government had ample time for electoral reforms, but it did not do the reforms. He said the ruling PTI was thinking that it would not have a tough competition in the Senate elections and when it realised the PDM would give it a tough time, it resorted to election through open ballot. He said the PTI leadership was aware of the fact that party lawmakers were not happy with them. He said the PTI knew that changing the election process was a constitutional process and the constitution could not be amended through presidential ordinance.

The PPP chief said he was hopeful that the court would not allow Senate elections through open ballot. He said the PPP would challenge the presidential ordinance in the Supreme Court and the Senate elections would be held as per the constitution. He said the opposition would not let PTI’s ‘conspiracy’ succeed. He said the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies should be shut down if legislation has to be done by the courts. He said the government’s decision to hold the Senate elections through open ballot was highly irresponsible. He said that ‘facilitators’ of the PTI government should understand this. He said he was hopeful that the court would give its verdict according to the constitution. 

Bilawal said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was being used for political motives. He said that many lawmakers from the ruling PTI were ready to vote against their own party in the Senate elections. He said the PDM would give the government a tough time even if the elections are held through open ballot.