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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has castigated the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) for levelling all types of allegations against the opposition parties after losing the elections for the offices of Senate chairman and deputy chairman.

Speaking at a press conference at Zardari House here on Tuesday, PPP leaders Qamar Zaman Kaira, Maula Bux Chandio and Nayyar Bokhari alleged that the candidates of the ruling alliance had faced the defeat because many PML-N senators had not voted for them.

“Those who had been claiming the support of 60 members (in the Senate) are now crying. Your own people are not with you,” said Mr Kaira, adding that those who were talking about the sanctity of the vote had always ruined it in the past.

Says many senators of ruling party did not vote for its candidates

He said if the PML-N won the elections, then the elections were okay, otherwise they were manipulated. Similarly, he added, if the courts and the National Accountability Bureau gave verdicts in their favour, then they were functioning properly, otherwise not.

Mr Kaira said that Monday’s Senate elections would strengthen democracy and democratic institutions in the country. Newly-elected senator Maula Bux Chandio asked the PML-N leaders to show courage and name the institutions which had conspired against them.

He said through public meetings, the PML-N leaders were trying to “wash their faces which have been blackened” by the Supreme Court’s verdicts.

Former Senate chairman Nayyar Bokhari said that every member of the Senate had the right to cast his or her vote for the favourite candidate independently.

He said though the members were bound to follow party discipline, there was no legal or constitutional bar on them to vote against the party’s decision.

Defending the PPP’s decision of supporting independent senator from Balochistan Sadiq Sanjrani for the office of Senate chairman, Mr Bokhari said they had made the decision to ensure continuity of democratic process.

He said a wrong impression was being given by the government and its allies that the Senate elections had damaged democratic process.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2018