Islamabad - The major Opposition parties in the Senate are not optimistic about any positive outcome of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to them to help the government in bringing electoral reforms stating neither ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) looked serious nor it has created any atmosphere to develop a consensus on the issue.

The Opposition parties also said that the government’s proposal to hold Senate election through ‘show of hands’ instead of ‘secret ballot’ could not be materialised as this was against the basic spirit of secrecy of vote.

However, they said that other options could be discussed to make the voting procedure of election of Upper House of the Parliament transparent and to ensure that no votes are sold. 

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the major Opposition party in the Senate, said that the government neither looked serious to bring a consensus on electoral reforms nor any atmosphere at the moment exists that government and Opposition sit together and talk.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the second major Opposition party in the house, rejected the offer of talks by Prime Minister and endorsed the point of view that the government did not look serious on the issue.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday in a televised address said that his government would move a Constitutional amendment in the Parliament to hold upcoming Senate election through show of hands, and not by secret ballot, to eliminate corruption.

He invited the Opposition to support the legislation as his government lacked two third majority required to pass an amendment.

Prime Minister also said that his government would soon introduce two electoral reforms—the electronic voting and a separate system for overseas Pakistanis to enable them to exercise their right of franchise in the next general elections.

PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi in an interview told The Nation that he did not see any atmosphere at the moment that the government and the opposition would sit together to bring electoral reforms.

“There is nothing serious at this front,” he said ,adding, that it was mere an announcement by PM Imran Khan. He however said that the Opposition could think over the proposal of talks if it got some formal invitation from the government. 

Senator Abbasi further said that the past track record of the PTI government showed that it never brought the Opposition on board to develop a consensus on such matters.

“Neither PM has created such atmosphere in the past nor did he create any such opportunity for the Opposition.”

He said that the Parliamentary Committee on electoral reforms had already left its work incomplete because many issues could not be settled at that time. About the proposed Constitutional amendment, the PML-N lawmaker said that the proposal of voting through show of hands was unsuitable as this was against the basic spirit of secrecy of vote. 

“However, other ways and means of voting pattern could be discussed and found out to eliminate chances of corruption in the Senate election,” he said.