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Continuity of Electoral Process Must For Strengthening Democracy: Jamali

Islamabad: Acting Chairman Senate Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali has said that strengthening of democracy via repetitive electoral process is a lengthy and continuous process that can ultimately lead to maturity of democratic system.

He said that side by side education and awareness among masses can play vital role in deepening roots of democratic traditions and ensuring its lasting impact. “Parliament is a good forum and no one person is making country‘s crucial decisions and inputs from various segments of society are being given through their representatives”, he added. He was expressing these views while talking to US delegates who met him at Parliament House here today.

Talking specifically about Senate Jamali briefed delegates that in Upper House all the four provinces have equal representation and 14 general seats have been allocated for technocrats and 12 seats for women, four from each province. Four seats have also been fixed for minorities, one each from every province for forth coming election.

However, the modus operandi of selection of Senators is indirect and they are nominated by political parties and sent to Senate. Jamali emphasized the need for direct election for Senate seats in order to strengthen democratic system as they will be then direct representatives of the people and in a better position to serve them.

Responding to a query regarding women participation in politics and their representation in Parliament, Jamali responded that at least 30% seats via direct election should be reserved for women in order to increase their number and say in legislative business and in running the affairs of the country.

He appreciated the role of women Parliamentarians as they are responsible and prudent and hence their talent must be recognized.

Jamali said that Senate must be given more budgetary powers and inputs from Senate in this regard must be enhanced as budget making is very crucial matter. Comparing the development funds allocation to members of the respective Houses, he said each member provincial Assembly Balochistan is given Rs. 250 million per annum while a Senator/MNA has only 10 million per annum at his/her disposal to work for their people and area. He said that these allocations be made at par with each other.

Expressing his views regarding legislative business and constitutional making process in the country Jamali under-scored that 18th Amendment is a landmark in constitutional history of the country and it has gone positive way. However, bringing about its positive outcomes and lasting impacts depend on how provinces run their affairs in a better way.

Responding to a question regarding next elections in the country Jamali said that he is expecting a split mandate. Highlighting the roles of various pillars of the country, Jamali said that media is free, civil society is active, Judiciary is independent, Parliamentary oversight is in place hence Pakistan can hope for the better future.

Talking about Balochistan situation and need for development work there Jamali said that various political factions in Balochistan are involving themselves in mainstream politics of the country. He said that there is dire need to focus on education, health and provision of clean drinking water and economic opportunities to people of Balochistan to ensure their progress and development and in this connection we require assistance from our friends. He added that oversight is needed for running such developmental projects in Balochistan to avoid pilferage.

For more information, contact:
Public Service Obligation to Chairman
Syed Hasnain Haider
Senate of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4564 534
Fax: +9251 920 5703
H.No.7, Cat-II, G-8/2,
Islamabad.
Web: www.senate.gov.pk
E-mail: senate@comsats.net.pk

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