Sharif fails to gather consensus for Senate polls

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    Islamabad, Feb 27 (IANS) Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday failed to carry the opposition parties on a government plan to pass a constitutional amendment for an open ballot in the upcoming Senate elections.

    Parties remained divided over the issue, Dawn reported citing a ruling party source.

    The prime minister will meet parliamentary leaders again Saturday to discuss the constitutional amendment for an open ballot.

    Speaking to the media after meeting with the premier, former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said his party’s leadership believed that the government should take all the political leadership on board before any constitutional amendment.

    “We are against any kind of rigging and horse-trading in the elections, but it is important for the government to build a consensus before introducing any constitutional amendment in parliament,” Ashraf said.

    He also stated that the Pakistan People’s Party leadership wanted electoral reforms for transparent elections in future.

    The government has drafted an amendment bill to bring crucial amendments to the constitution in a bid to hold the upcoming elections to 52 Senate seats in a manner that would end the “undemocratic practice of horse-trading”.

    Earlier, Sharif convened a meeting of parliamentary leaders to discuss how to make the Senate elections transparent.

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