PML-N to take part in Senate polls, by-elections

Published January 10, 2021
In this file photo, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and other party leaders address a press conference in Lahore. - DawnNewsTV
In this file photo, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and other party leaders address a press conference in Lahore. - DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: One of the main opposition parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), on Saturday announced that it would take part in the Senate polls and any option of resignations from assemblies would be “weighed” after that.

The PML-N also said that the opposition parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) would jointly contest the Senate elections and by-polls.

The PML-N cleared the ambiguity over the matter after its vice president Maryam Nawaz presided over a meeting of the party’s parliamentary board held at the Sharifs’ Model Town residence to finalise the names of the candidates for the by-election scheduled to be held on Feb 19.

The PML-N’s announcement has come in sharp contrast to PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s statement last week that the alliance would decide whether to take part in the Senate elections or not and about resignations from assemblies after Jan 31.

The PDM has given Jan 31 ultimatum to Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign.

Wants to jointly contest the polls with other opposition parties

Senior PML-N leader and former federal minister Khurram Dastagir, who attended the mee­ting, said the party would contest the Senate elections and a decision about resigning from the assemblies would be taken afterwards.

“In the meeting, we held preliminary discussion on the selection of candidates for the next month’s by-polls. We will ann­ounce our candidates soon,” he said.

When asked if the opposition had backtracked from its earlier position to resign from the asse­m­blies before the Senate elections scheduled for March, Mr Dastagir said: “We will resign from assemblies but after Senate polls. We will go for it [resignations] when we think that after resigning from assemblies this parliament cannot function.”

But, he clarified that resignations were not the main issue. “Long march is the main thing and how we mobilise the public for this,” he said.

Another main component of the PDM, the Pakistan Peoples Party had earlier declared it was going to contest the Senate polls as it would not be wise to “leave the field open” for the PTI government.

According to a party insider, Maryam Nawaz and other hawkish members of the PML-N were not happy over the PDM’s decision to defer the option of resignations from assemblies. Before this decision, Ms Nawaz would say in opposition rallies that this government would not be able to function if 400 lawmakers resigned.

“Protest, be it in the form of rallies, long march or sit-in, appears to be the only option the PDM is left with,” he said.

PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal told reporters the field would not be left open for the government in the Senate elections.

“We will take part in the Senate polls. We don’t want the government to have a two-thirds majority in the Senate and enact laws of its choice. We will contest the Senate and by-polls along with other opposition parties in the PDM,” he said.

Mr Iqbal forewarned that if Prime Minister Imran Khan completed his term, nobody would be ready to become premier of the country after him because of “the destruction he (Imran) would cause to the country”.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2021

Opinion

Karachi development
Updated 13 Apr 2021

Karachi development

Our planners must learn that infrastructure and services are essential to economic progress.
The government’s emerging traits
Updated 12 Apr 2021

The government’s emerging traits

Frequent bureaucratic changes signify a whimsical way of governing and reflect knee-jerk reactions to the criticism of the day.

Editorial

Reform after Daska
Updated 13 Apr 2021

Reform after Daska

Electoral malpractice generates instability and delegitimises the mandate of the winner, triggering one crisis after another.
13 Apr 2021

Reinstating LGs

THE PTI government in Punjab is sending confused and conflicting signals to people when it comes to the critical...
13 Apr 2021

Remembering I.A. Rehman

THE quest for a progressive society in Pakistan, at peace with itself and its neighbours, suffered a big setback in...
Pakistan-India peace
Updated 12 Apr 2021

Pakistan-India peace

Experts note that everything — including Kashmir — can be resolved if there is a will in both capitals.
12 Apr 2021

Child abuse

IN its annual report, the NGO Sahil found that there has been a 4pc increase in documented cases of major crimes...
12 Apr 2021

New tax chief’s task

THE FBR got a new chairman on Friday. Asim Ahmed, a senior IRS officer who was serving as the Board’s IT member...