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March 1, 2018

PPP candidates remain hopeful as hobnobbing continues

Peshawar

March 1, 2018

PESHAWAR: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which has seven members in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, has nominated four candidates for the Senate election scheduled to be held on March 3.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the opposition parties including PPP, Awami National Party (ANP), Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), have finalized the names of 27 candidates for the 11 vacant seats.

There have been rumours about possible horse-trading as the candidates for the Senate election are hobnobbing with the parliamentarians in a bid to seek their support.

The candidates justified the fielding of more nominees than the strength of the political parties in the Senate election. Some said political parties cannot leave space open in a democratic setup. They said it would be decided by their respective party leadership to enter into an alliance with a likeminded political entity.

“Our leaders are aware of our strength and the votes that are required to become a senator but still they allotted tickets to more aspirants. The candidates would be adjusted at a later stage after finalising possible alliances with other parties,” said the PPP candidate on a general seat, Bahramand Tangi.

The PPP has nominated Bahramand Tangi and Faisal Sakhi Butt to contest for general seats, while Rubina Khalid was fielded for women’s reserved seats and Dr Nisar for a technocrat seat.

Considering it a great honour for him, Bahramand Tangi said he had no words to thank his party’s chairman Asif Ali Zardari for allotting ticket to him.

Being an ordinary worker, Bahramand Tangi said he had been approaching all members in KP Assembly to get their votes and support. However, he said he knew that it was the party leadership would take final decision keeping in view the seat adjustment formula with other parties.

“We are democrats and believe that success and defeat as well as seat adjustment is part of the game in democratic process,” he said, adding; “Let us wait for the leadership’s decision, which would clear the existing uncertain situation.”

Every political party has formed committees to hold negotiations with other parties, but the rumours of possible horse-trading, which is considered a normal practice, has forced the leaders of different parties to take unanimous decision and block the way of horse-trading.

The open sale and purchase of votes for the Senate election in recent past had forced the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) head Sirajul Haq to say that instead of horses the entire stable was being bought.

A former MNA wishing anonymity said the price per vote had reached Rs25 million and it could rise further.

He said it was an open secret and some members considered it an opportune time to make some money.

“Though no final decision has been taken so far, the PPP will get one general seat and one woman’s while one candidate on general and one on technocrats would be asked to withdraw nomination papers,” the former MNA said.

The parliamentary leaders of all political parties supported Speaker, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Asad Qaiser when he underlined importance of fielding joint candidates to check horse-trading, which earned bad name for them, their parties and the province.

Asad Qaiser convened the joint sitting of both the ruling and opposition parties to discuss the distribution of seats on the basis of their numerical strength in the provincial assembly and fielding of joint candidates for Senate election.

According to reports, under this proposed arrangement the ruling PTI will get seven seats while the joint opposition will be offered five seats.