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Opposition failed to stop horse trading in Senate polls: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan criticized the opposition parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), saying they should be questioned for their failure to stop horse trading in Senate elections.

The prime minister was addressing media after attending a ceremony for the second phase of the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme at Kallar Syedan near Rawalpindi.

“When the political leaders knows that money is traded, why didn’t they make an effort to change it?” questioned the prime minister. “Because they themselves make money from it,” he added. “These thieves who call themselves politicians and have made a union in the PDM to protect their corruption.”

He said the opposition parties have been in power for thirty years and should be questioned on the efforts to stop horse trading in Senate election. The prime minister further said he himself had been offered money many times for a Senate seat “not just from one person but from many people”.

He stated that members of his parliamentary board also received similar offers and the current alleged price for becoming a senator from Balochistan ranged between Rs500-700 million.

He said that politicians come to the Senate after spending vast amounts and look to make back that amount instead of serving the position or province in any meaningful way. “Do we want to hold elections according to this same system when we know there is a money market set with rates for politicians,” he asked.

He asked why the PPP and PML-N had backtracked from their stance on open balloting when it was stated in their Charter of Democracy. He said the government to can gain more members in the Senate elections but was still calling for open ballot.

The government promulgated a presidential ordinance on Saturday to make amendments to the Election Act, 2017, to hold Senate polls through open vote.The ordinance was promulgated after attempts by the government to pass the 26th Constitution Amendment Bill in the National Assembly failed to make headway

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