PTI MPAs prove their loyalties cannot be purchased
Strategy PTI prepared for preventing horse-trading seems successful
PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak soon after completion of the polling for the Senate election said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers could not be purchased. And the PTI MPAs proved him right as all the candidates fielded by Imran Khan’s party won their seats.
This would be the first time PTI will have representation in the Upper House of the Parliament. Victory on all contested seats not only saved PTI from further divisions but also removed the Sword of Damocles over the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
PTI’s Mohsin Aziz, Syed Shibli Faraz and Liaqat Tarakai, who founded the Swabi-based Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) and promised to merge it into the PTI, won on general seats. Sirajul Haq, chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, the PTI coalition partner that was heavily relying on PTI’s votes, also succeeded on general seat.
PTI’s Samina Abid was elected Senator on women’s seat, Brig (Retd) John Kenneth Williams on minorities and Nouman Wazir on technocrats’ seats.The electoral success must have relieved PTI chairman and its lawmakers. Imran Khan would feel satisfied that his MPAs were not a commodity on sale while the lawmakers would be happy that they would now not be suspected of betraying the party.
Muhammad Atif Khan, education minister and an important PTI leader said PTI victory actually saved the whole province’s honour. “People kept taunting us that lawmakers in your province are selling votes,” he said. “And we heard media say that 20 lawmakers were purchased and then the number went up to 30. The propaganda was so strong that sometimes I would suspect myself,” he added.
Imran Khan had deep-seated worries that his MPAs’ loyalties could be bought in the Senate election and his party could face defeat. Sirajul Haq too had serious concerns about horse-trading. Both the leader drew flak by equating lawmakers with on-sale cattle.
Imran Khan even went a step ahead by threatening dissolution of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly if his lawmakers betrayed the party. However, he would not need to take such stern decision now that his party obtained the desired number of seats.
It appears that the strategy PTI and its allies had prepared for preventing horse-trading succeeded. This is a big success given the fact that the parliamentary party of PTI was often plagued by differences.
The PTI’s 14-member group of ‘like-minded’ lawmakers apparently voted for party candidates despite reservations over certain decisions, including the nomination of Liaqat Tarakai.
The victory in Senate election will help scotch the impression that PTI is not a disciplined party, at least for now. Even the expelled PTI MPA Javed Naseem stayed away from polling vote in an effort to prove that he has not sold his vote. He had proposed an independent candidate for the Senate vote and become suspects in the eyes of everyone.
None of the PTI lawmakers was accused of taking bribe in return for vote. This might boost its image of a party combating corruption. Imran Khan during his press conference on Friday sent a “well-done” message to the party’s lawmakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for spurning money offers.
The PTI managed to maintain its votes despite the fact that some wealthy politicians were hoping to buy its lawmakers. These affluent politicians who were solely relying on their wealth appeared to have failed to buy “some horses.” “No person in future would take part in Senate election only because they have wealth,” Atif said, declaring it victory for democracy.