ISLAMABAD: As expected, following rejection of the bill by the opposition, PTI-led incumbent govt. has promulgated a presidential ordinance here today in order to amend the Election Act, 2017, facilitating the holding of Senate polls via open vote.
Information Minister Shibli Faraz took to the Twitter to share the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance that holds that the Senate and National Assembly were not in session and the president was satisfied that circumstances existed rendering the ordinance necessary to take immediate action.
The ordinance maintained: “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”.
Yesterday (5th of Feb) a summary for introducing the Presidential Ord. was approved by the cabinet members by means of circulation.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, rejecting the Presidential Ord. said such amendment could only be made by lawmakers.
Though on 11th day of March, 52 senators (fifty per cent of the 104-member Senate) will complete their six-year tenure, this time there will be no polling for the four seats of the erstwhile FATA after its merger with the KP.
Polling, hence will be held to elect 48 senators ((12 each from KP and Balochistan, 11 each from Punjab and Sindh and two from Islamabad). Seven members on general seats, two women and two technocrats will be elected. Polling for a minority seat each in KP & Balochistan will also be conducted.
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