ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Friday said vote sales and buying continued unhindered adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan was committed to ending the role of money in the electoral process.
Speaking to reporters here, he said vote buying undermines democracy and moral values and the government is trying to bring genuine popular representatives to parliament and that’s impossible unless money politics and vote buying are eliminated.
Shibli pointed out that the public has now realized the importance of transparency in Senate elections, as they have done before.
The opposition has no reason to defend its position by opposing the government’s efforts for transparency in elections.
The minister argued that they accepted the will but forgot that Benazir Bhutto’s signature had been placed on the Democracy Charter for an open vote in the Senate elections. He again said that money politics needed to be eliminated and candidates should be chosen based on ability. He said the Pakistan Election Commission would also be strengthened further to improve the performance of other institutions. Answering a question about the president’s reference to the Senate election through open voting, the minister said the Supreme Court was discussing legal issues and in such cases, evidence was not needed.
Shibli said the PTI’s stance was justified, based on democratic principles and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also hinted at a trend towards open elections.
He claims the opposition is trying to confuse people by calling a vote of no confidence against the chairman of the Senate but it is a matter of internal DPR rules when a candidate will be elected as an outside senator.
The minister noted that opposition parties had agreed to amend the Constitution for an open vote in Senate elections but failed to do so despite ruling the country for ten years – five years each.
Shibli said PTI had a clear majority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and would also win seats in other provinces.