Saturday, March 3, 2012

Senate Election - Effects in Future and Present Events

Election results for the senate election have been announced.

Senate results for 2012 elections. Source: DAWN

The PPP and PML-N, now, in toto have 55 seats, which is about 54% of the total senate strength. In the short run this wouldn't create any problem, but a democratic change can only come when a party occupies both houses of the national legislature.

The senators elected in 2012 will remain in their office till 2017 as the tenure of a senator is of 5 years. Let's assume that PTI (The movement of Justice) wins the 2013 election on the basis of bringing a change. The question is:

 "Will PTI be able to bring a democratic change when it doesn't have a single seat in senate?"

The answer to this question is, "NO". PTI has no constitutional way to promulgate their reform bill until the bill isn't passed from the upper house. The constitution of Pakistan requires a two-third majority in senate for any amendment to be a part of the constitution.

PTI wants to bring three basic constitutional changes:
1) It want to tax all foreign exchange transactions which are not in the tax net.
2) Land reform bill for proper management of taxes.
3) Rescinding the 20th amendment.

The 20th amendment makes it a duty of the election commission to formulate an interim government. PTI considers it against international norms as the role of the election commission is to manage elections, not to set up interim governments before elections.

These three amendments can only be promulgated if PTI gains a majority in the senate, which constitutionally isn't possible till 2017. PTI will have to wait till 2017 (subject to PTI clean-sweeping the 2013 election) for bringing the change it's talking about.

Hence, a political chaos is inevitable in the future. Although, political chaos is nothing new in this country, but this choas - if it happens- will be led by the middle class of Pakistan. This middle class played a big role in the judiciary movement. Now, this middle-class can play a major role in resurrecting the dead political corpus of the country.

The senate election ended with a shameful act of a PPP's candidate Waheeda Shah Bukhari. Mrs. Bukhari severely slapped a returning officer who was performing her duty according to law. Mrs. Bukhari's action shows the depth of autocratic centralism inbuilt in the Pakistani society. This sort of centralism is more prominent in the rural areas of the country. Mrs. Bukhari attitude also shows that Pakistani senators, MPAs (member of provincial assembly), and MNAs (member of national assembly) need ethical education alongside their political activity. An illiterate and ill-mannered senator is a scourge for the society. 

Waheeda Shah slapping the returning officier. Source: Express Tribune

The supreme court has rejected the apology present by Mrs. Bukhari as the Supreme Court argued that the slap was not against a single woman, but against the whole government mechanism. It is a disgrace for the whole country, hence such acts cannot be forgiven.

The proceeding are in the court. Let the court decide what's the best punishment for such a crime.

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