Senate resolution calling for delay in elections draws political parties' ire

Senate resolution calling for delay in elections draws political parties' ire


PPP, PTI, JI dismiss resolution as ‘unacceptable’, ‘unconstitutional’

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LAHORE/ ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Political parties on Friday dismissed as “unacceptable” and “unconstitutional” the resolution – calling for the postponement of the Feb 8 general elections – passed by the Senate earlier in the day. 

Leaders from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) censured the resolution shortly after it sailed through the Upper House with a majority vote.

The resolution was tabled by Senator Dilawar Khan, and only 14 senators were in attendance when it was adopted.

Slamming the resolution, prominent PPP leader Khursheed Ahmed Shah asserted that any judgement or resolution passed in violation of the constitution was “unacceptable” to his party.

He said that “in the absence of representation from leading political groups in the Upper House, there was no reason for bringing this resolution to table.”

Shah held the view that an escape from elections would push the country towards more crises. He said it was incorrect to say the resolution had been adopted with a majority vote, pointing to the lack of quorum in the Senate.

Echoing similar sentiments, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said that the PPP had a clear stance that the elections should not be delayed. "We do not support any delay in elections," she said, adding that her party abstained from voting in the Senate.

Commenting on the Senate resolution, Sher Afzal Marwat of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which also abstained from voting, said that the constitution was "violated" in the Upper House.

He said that the adoption of the resolution seeking delay in the next general elections was tantamount to attacking the Constitution.

Marwat, a former judge, added that there was no single clause in the constitution mandating a delay in elections.

The PTI leader called the resolution “anti-constitutional”, and said that Article 6 applied to all those who supported the resolution.

Criticising the passage of the Senate resolution, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq called the resolution a conspiracy against the country and democracy.

Siraj argued that delaying elections due to law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan was equivalent to surrendering before anti-state elements.

“Peace and stability can be ensured only through timely elections,” he averred.