Senate Committee discusses mode of Senate elections

Islamabad, May 12, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Upper House transformed itself into a committee of the Whole to discuss the mode of elections for the members of the Senate, pros and cons of single transferable voting system, alternates, poll reforms etc on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani here at the Senate Hall.

Senator Azam Khan Swati said that Senate is playing the right role in the political horizon of the country. He further said if direct elections procedure is adopted for Senate, then it will truly become a representative of its constituencies which have little connection as we speak of today. He said that Senate has weak relation with its electoral college.

Senator Sardar Azam Musakhel said that in direct elections for Senate, a province as a whole should be a constituency. He further said that as a result of direct elections, Senators will be more accountable and political leadership as well as workers will be more active. Chairman Senate pointed out that even in National Assembly all members do not come as directly elected candidates. He said that out of 342 members of the lower house, almost 70- members come through list system.

Senator Chaudhry Tanveer, however, said that direct elections would not solve the problem. He said that small reforms in system and rules of the upper house will make it more effective as it represents all four provinces. Senator Abdul Qayyum also stressed on removing flaws of the system and said that first there is a need to bring democracy in the political parties.

Senator Kabeer Shahi also said that direct elections will bring more problems. Senator Khalida Parveen and Senator Osman Saifullah also opposed the proposal of direct elections for Senate and asked for getting rid of the flow of money for Senate seats while following the present procedures.

Senator Ghous Muhammad Niazi gave examples of international parliaments and termed Pakistan’s Senate election process better. Senator Tahir Mashhadi also said that Senate through recent initiatives has made its name far better and efficient than before. Senator Muhammad Ali Saif said that the present mode of elections should continue but technocrat seats should be increased. 39 Senators participated in today’s discussion.

For more information, contact:
Public Service Obligation to Chairman
Syed Hasnain Haider
Senate of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4564 534
Fax: +9251 920 5703
H.No.7, Cat-II, G-8/2,
Islamabad.
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E-mail: senate@comsats.net.pk