News Analysis |
The opposition has once again warned the government not to delay the matter of chairman Senate’s replacement. According to details, the opposition in the Senate on Friday reiterated their resolve to remove Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjhrani from his post and, once again, declared that the change was ‘inevitable’. The joint opposition has already announced to de-seat the chairman senate to give a strong political message to the government.
Mir Hasil Bizenjo — the opposition’s joint candidate for Senate chairman — spoke to the media after a meeting of opposition leaders on Friday to inform that a letter has been submitted to the Senate secretariat. “In the letter, it has been clearly stated that the Constitution allows for a no-confidence motion to be brought against the Senate chairman. And if the motion is accepted through a majority, the chairman has to step down,” he said.
The joint opposition enjoys the simple majority in the upper house of the Parliament and there is no doubt about its ability to de-seat the current chairman.
Insisting that the opposition has the numbers, Bizenjo pointed out that the meeting of the opposition yesterday had included more than 50 senators. He further claimed that the next meeting, which is to be held on Monday, will have more than 60 senators. “If any attempt to delay the motion is made, it will be a violation of the Constitution. It is important that a session is called immediately and voting should take place,” Bizenjo explained.
The tussle is going on between the governments, supporting the current chairman, opposition, old-backers of Sanjhrani. The former has said that the latter would not be able to replace the chairman due to ‘unexpected’ change of numbers in the house.
Why de-seat Sanjhrani?
Political analysts have offered different, but equally valid, viewpoints as to why the joint opposition is interested to change the chairman senate that is not harmful to them. In a talk-show at 92 Channel on the eve of last Friday Dr. Shahbaz Gill, spokesperson for Chief Minster Punjab, categorically said that the opposition cannot remove the current chairman.
“Several lawmakers from the PML-N have approached the CM Punjab and the prime minister. They are no longer interested to work under the leadership of Maryam and Shahbaz,” he said. Dr. Gill also pointed out that some members from Punjab wanted to create a forward block within the PML-N and sought the help of the Chief Minister who, according to Gill, has turned down their request.
The joint opposition has already announced to de-seat the chairman senate to give a strong political message to the government.
Analyst and senior anchorperson, Imran Khan, maintained that the joint opposition has the required numbers and can easily remove the chairman senate. “I do not think that senator change their parties so frequently. Unlike MNAs and MPAs these senators are those having long-lasting party affiliations and are considered to be reliable for all feather friends,” he argued.
Mr. Khan contended Dr. Gill and said that the senators are generally rich people and cannot be treated as electables. Therefore, it is difficult that the government can manage to have more numbers in the Senate of Pakistan. Dr. Moeed Pirzada, prominent anchorperson and analyst, pointed out that apparently the opposition is interested to show off its political power in Senate, therefore, it wishes to remove the chairman senate.
The opposition is under pressure due to the ongoing accountability drive and this show of political power may help them get some relief. It is also a widely held perception that Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman PPP, stood by the establishment and ditched the then ruling party PML-N during the senate elections.
But now Zardari has realized that it was his political blunder to help the establishment get its chairman elected. Zardari is trying to convey a message to the establishment by removing the chairman senate that the alliance is no longer valid.
Will the opposition get in a new chairman?
Apparently, it is clear that the joint opposition enjoys the simple majority in the upper house of the Parliament and there is no doubt about its ability to de-seat the current chairman. Therefore, their demand to convene the session and let the process of replacement initiate is based upon legal principles which, by no means, can be rejected. However, the confidence of the government has shown for last many days that it is evident how they are relying on some solid assurances by the senators who may not prefer to vote the joint opposition candidate for the post of Chairman Senate.