Senate elections: Bilawal says govt’s own parliamentarians ready to vote against it in open ballot

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Monday alleged that the govt was afraid and didn’t believe in its own parliamentarians, saying that their lawmakers would vote against them even in an open ballot within the upcoming Senate elections.

“The government wants to form the Senate elections controversial just like the general elections were made controversial,” said the PPP chairperson, adding that the federal was attempting to try to to so through ordinances and references.

He said that the “right to secret ballot” was available for each citizen of Pakistan in order that nobody could impede their right to elect their representative without worrying of any reprisal or revenge of any sort.

“My right to vote is being attacked, my MPAs’ right to vote is being attacked,” he said. “We are supportive of electoral reforms but this government doesn’t want it,” added the PPP chairperson.

Bilawal said that if the govt wanted to cause electoral reforms, it could have done so easily over the past three years it had been in power.

“When they need to know the Pakistan Democratic Movement was contesting Senate elections and that they knew their MPAs and MNAs weren’t happy [with the government] they showed a scarcity of confidence in their own parliamentarians,” he added.

‘What is that the use of assemblies’?

The PPP chairperson said that the Opposition will challenge the presidential ordinance on the open Senate ballot signed by President Arif Alvi.

“If this law [ for open balloting in Senate election] passes then you ought to lock the assemblies,” he said. “If the whole process has got to be administered through the president’s office, then what’s the utilization if assemblies?”

Bilawal termed it a “dangerous precedent”, adding that the government’s facilitators should understand that through such measures, a really bad impression and message of the country are going to be projected throughout Pakistan and abroad.

The PPP chairperson gave the govt a dire warning, stating that its own members were able to cast votes against them just in case an open ballot is held within the Senate elections.

“Your [government’s] own members are able to vote against you in an open vote,” he said. “We are able to face you even in an open vote,” he added.

Criticising the govt for censuring political opponents and therefore the media, Bilawal said that each one parties will provides a “serious reaction” towards the government’s moves.

He said that the PPP will challenge the open ballot ordinance through the Sindh government and former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani.

‘I agree 100% with DG ISPR’

When asked about his recent meeting with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl, Bilawal said that he and therefore the refore the PDM chief spoke about the ordinance and the anti-government protest movement.

Responding to reports of more cases being prepared against PML-N vice chairman Maryam Nawaz, Bilawal said that “we are coming towards them [government] on March 26.

Bilawal reacted to the DG ISPR’s statement from today, saying that he agreed with it 100% statement. The PPP chairperson said that the military’s spokesperson had said that the soldiers isn’t involved in politics.

“This is what me and my party want,” he said. “How can there be any contradiction in this?”

He said that the PPP and other Opposition parties were able to stop horse-trading during Senate elections which parliamentarians should discuss the difficulty .

“But they [government] don’t want to try to to it,” he said. “They don’t want to take a seat and discuss this. we would like electoral reforms,” added Bilawal.

Fazl has not disclosed a particular place for long march, says Bilawal

The PPP chairperson said that Fazl had not given any “final location” for the long march, adding that discussions were persisted whether the Opposition parties wanted to congregate at Rawalpindi or Islamabad.

“These are decisions which can be taken by the PDM. Maulana sahab has not given a final location,” he said.

However, he said it didn’t matter where the Opposition parties gathered. “When our long march begins, our strength are going to be visible to everyone before we even reach Rawalpindi,” he said.

Bilawal demanded that the establishment shouldn’t play any role in politics. He said that if it becomes obvious after elections that the PTI participated within the elections as a celebration and didn’t receive any support, then it might be beneficial for Pakistan.

“If not, it’ll be a wrong step and can prove damaging for Pakistan,” he said. “I hope we learned something from the 2018 general elections and such a move won’t happen again.”

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