Senate vote through open vote: President signs off on ordinance

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Senate vote through open vote: President signs off on ordinance

News Desk : 

The Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) government on Saturday promulgated a presidential ordinance to make amendments to the election act, 2017 to hold Senate polls through an open vote.

The Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 202, shared by Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Twitter, stated that the Senate and National Assembly are not in session and the president is satisfied that “circumstances exist” which render the ordinance necessary to take immediate action.

“In the Elections Act, 2017 (XXXIII of 2017) in section 81, in sub-section (1), for the word “an”, the expression “subject to section 122, an” shall be substituted.

“In the said Act, in section 122, in sub-section (6), for full stop at the end. a colon shall be substituted and thereafter. the following two provisos shall be added:

“Provided that in case the Supreme Court of Pakistan gives an opinion in Reference No 1 of 2021 filed under Article 186 of the Constitution that elections for the members of Senate do not fall within the purview of Article 226 of the Constitution, the poll for elections for members of the Senate to be held in March, 2021 and thereafter shall be conducted by the Commission through open and identifiable ballot

“Provided further that after the elections for members of Senate, if the head of the political party requests the Commission to show the ballot cast by any voting member of his party, the Commission shall show the same to the head of the political party or his nominee.”

In the said Act, in section 185, for the word “an”, the expression “subject to section 122, an” shall be substituted, the presidential ordinance added.

‘Ordinance promulgated for clarity’s sake’

Speaking to Geo News on the show ‘Naya Pakistan’, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar said that there were two legal opinions when it came to the conducting the Senate polls through open ballot.

The first was that there needs to be a constitutional amendment for which a bill was moved in the National Assembly, he said. We also moved a reference in the Supreme Court contending that the polls for members of the Senate came up the Election Act 2017, he said.

The reference believes that the condition of secret balloting referred to in Article 226 of the Constitution is applicable only to the elections to the office of president, speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly, chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, speakers and deputy speakers of the provincial assemblies and not to the elections for the members of the Senate held under the Elections Act 2017.

Senate vote through open vote: President signs off on ordinance

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