ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Senate vote, the outcome of which is expected to be far from too close to call, concluded here on Thursday amid 'galloping' allegations of ‘horse trading’ –a hard bargained secret deal to buy loyalties of politicians, Samaa reported.
As many as 131 candidates ran for 48 seats as national and provincial assemblies met to elect new senators to replace the retirees.
According to unofficial results, Pakistan People’s Party has emerged as the majority party in the upper house by securing 27 seats, followed by ruling PML-N's 26 and MQM's 8 seats.
Fata Senate Vote Shelved
Vote for four Senate seats from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) was shelved by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on the request of FATA Returning Officer (RO) Usman Ali.
A decision to this effect was taken after Member of National Assembly from FATA boycotted the vote to protest the promulgation of a controversial Presidential ordinance last night which allows each of them to cast just one vote as against four.
Before the promulgation of the ordinance, one Fata MNA was entitled to cast four votes in Senate elections. This four-vote privilege was a legacy of former military ruler Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf.
The ECP has also said the polls would be rescheduled only after the final order.
Raheela Magsi Case
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday allowed PMLN's Raheela Magsi to contest Senate election directing the ECP not to notify the result till the decision of her writ against disqualification.
Magsi, however, won the seat in Thursday's polls.
The IHC division bench comprising Justice Athar Minnallah and Justice Farooq Aamir heard her appeal against the decision of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to disqualify her from contesting for a reserved seat for women from the Federal Capital on the basis of domicile.
Here’s a list of newly elected Senators:
Raheela Magsi (PMLN), Iqbal Zafar Jhagra (PMLN)
Raja Zafar-ul-Haq (PMLN), Professor Sajid Mir (PMLN), Chaudhry Tanveer Khan (PMLN), Mushaidullah Khan (PMLN), Lt. General Abdul Qayum (PMLN), Pervaiz Rashid (PMLN), Ghaus Muhammad Khan Niazi (PMLN), Nehal Hashmi (PMLN), Saleem Zia (PMLN), Ayesha Raza Farooq (PMLN), Najma Hamid (PMLN),
Abdul Latif Ansari (PPPP), Mian Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh (MQM), Khushbakht Shujaat (MQM), Barrister Muhammad Ali Khan Saif (MQM), Nighat Mirza (MQM), Sassui Palijo (PPPP), Farooq Naek (PPPP), Gyan Chand (PPPP), Rehman Malik (PPPP), Saleem Mandviwala (PPPP), Islamuddin Sheikh (PPPP)
Muhammad Usman (PkMAP), Gul Bushara (PkMAP), Sardar Azam Khan (PKMAP), Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri (JUI-F), Mir Naimatullah Zehri (PML-N), Shahbaz Durrani (PMLN), Kalsoom Parveen (PMLN), Hasil Khan Bizenjo (NP), Mir Kabir (NP), Dr Ashok Kumar (NP), Muhammad Yousaf Badini (Independent), Jahanzeb Jamali Dini (BNPM)
John Kenneth Williams (PTI), Samina Abid (PTI), Sitara Ayaz (ANP), Sitara Ayaz (PTI), Muhammad Javed Abbasi (PML-N), Shibli Faraz (PTI)
Liaquat Khan Tarakai (PTI), Mohsin Aziz (PTI), Maulana Attaur Rehman (JUI-F), Salahuddin Tirmzi (PML-N), Sirajul Haq (JI), Khanzada Khan (PPP)
Horse Trading Allegations But Not Straight From The Horse's Mouth
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has claimed that lawmakers are being bribed (or offered) millions of rupees to sell their votes to a certain party so that it could win majority in the Senate.
Will PTI Dissolve KP Assembly?
Khan, who is often seen as the 'dark horse' with a rather overhyped agenda of change, minced no words when he warned that the PTI would dissolve the provincial assembly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if Senate elections were manipulated by any of these apolitical shady tricks.
Too many hopes are pinned on the cricketer-turned politician; however, only the time will tell whether his followers backed the right or the wrong horse.
Wincing & Whining
The majority parties winced at the idea of open balloting as soon as the PTI proposed it taking a strong exception to the secret balloting procedure.
Politicos have been exploiting the pitfalls of this procedure without fail since long. They will just not let anyone like Khan take it away from them as it has always helped them to tip the scale.
They determinedly beat about the bush as a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.
It is widely believed that ‘horse trading’ for sweeping Senate polls is in full swing no matter how vehemently the politicains try to convince the nation against it on the TV.
Are PPP, PMLN The Biggest Traders of Horses?
Khan also did not shy of declaring the ruling PMLN and PPP as the biggest traders of the political horses.“PTI is the first political party to openly highlight the issue of ongoing practice of horse trading & corruption in the Senate elections including a strong demand for open balloting,” said his party in a statement issued here.
Govt Continues To Horse Around…
It added that: “However, the political developments over the last few days have revealed that despite its agreement in respect of the requirement for a constitutional amendment pertaining to open balloting in senate elections, the federal government has not undertaken any sincere efforts to ensure that it takes place prior to the upcoming senate elections.”
“PPP & JUI-F’s clear denial to support the 22nd constitutional amendment for open balloting in the Senate elections stands proof to the indictment of their complicity in this undemocratic practice,” it said.
“PTI is committed to ensuring free, fair & transparent elections in Pakistan & will continue to stand against conspiracies aimed at undermining democracy & depriving the mandate of the people of Pakistan,” it added.
Let's see whether the PTI stallion's crusade delivers the goods in terms of reining in the steeds-for-sale or it turns out to be only another exercise in futility like flogging the dead horses.
Trojan & Stalking Horses…..
Although, the PTI has warned its own lawmakers with no less than expulsion from the party in case they sell themselves out, the justice party's movers & shakers will invariably have to mind the Trojan as well as stalking horses.
In Pakistan most of the regimes more often than not tried to put the cart before the horse as far as electoral transparency is concerned. Corruption is one of the lifelines that have so far kept alive this decadent system, which has more loopholes in it than a common tea stainer.
You Can Lead A Horse To Water….
Analysts say, if 'you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink' is true then the true war horses will kick the bribers in the teeth and do what their conscience tells them to.
It’s time the government said whoa, got off its high horse', and read the writing on the wall. In case it doesn’t then there are some really fat chances that following would become its story too: “For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the man was lost.” Also by changing the horses in midstream, no lasting change could be brought.
CEC Says Hold Your Horses….
Following the ringing of alarm bells against allegedly ‘going wild’ horse trading ahead of senate election, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sardar Raza Khan vowed to tame the violators if there was strong enough evidence that code of conduct had been breached.
“If the ECP is provided with the hard evidence for the same then the pettifoggers will face an even harder action,” Khan said Wednesday.
Drawing a line under it, the CEC said the ‘horse trading ‘will not be tolerated, come what may.–SAMAA