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Reference for Senate Election!

By: Karam mufti

The government has filed a reference in the Supreme Court to hold the election of half of the members of the upper house (Senate) through open ballot. Under the constitution, the six-year term of half of the members of the Senate expires on March 11, 2021, and on March 12, those members who have been declared successful in the previous elections will assume their responsibilities. It was hinted by the government on December 15, 2020 that the Senate elections could be held in February 2021 instead of March 2021, for which the Election Commission will be approached. In the meeting of the Federal Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on December 15, 2020, it was also decided to hold elections for the upper house seats through open ballot instead of secret ballot, for which it was decided to seek guidance from the Supreme Court through reference. In this regard, the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of 11 opposition parties, reacted in a derogatory manner, calling the early holding of Senate elections and the show of hands a violation of the Constitution. On December 17, Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan’s explanation came to light that in the election of senators,

First, second, third priority has to be given so these elections cannot be held from show of hands, the proposal is actually related to open ballot. A statement issued by the Election Commission on December 21, 2020 clarified that elections cannot be held earlier than 30 days on the seats of half the members of the Senate which will become vacant on March 11, 2021. The statement made it clear that the Election Commission would announce the date of the Senate elections in due course in the form of an election program in accordance with the Constitution and the law. It seems that the Senate election cannot be held before February 10, 2021. The date of these elections will be fixed in the next one month while the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been approached for open ballot. On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, President Dr. Arif Alvi approved the Prime Minister’s proposal to send the reference to the Supreme Court under Article 186 of the Constitution, seeking his opinion on amending Section 122 (6) of the Election Act 2017 without amending the Constitution. Has gone It will take some time for the reference set in the Supreme Court to be fixed, heard and decided, while the Election Commission has decided to hold two seats in the National Assembly, two in Balochistan, one in Punjab and three in Sindh. The decision to hold by-elections came on December 12. Despite the announcement of the resignation of the opposition alliance PDM from the National and Provincial Assembly seats, some parties are keen to contest the by-elections. In this regard, former President Asif Ali Zardari has telephoned Mian Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman not to resign before the Senate elections. “We are not in favor of boycotting the by-elections,” he said. The PDM could win more than 15 seats if it contests the Senate elections, but sources said Nawaz Sharif disagreed with his position, while Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the issue would be resolved at the PDM meeting. In this context, it is not possible to ignore many possibilities and concerns, while the challenges facing the country and the dangers posed by the new Corona require that the government and the opposition work together to find a way to resolve issues through understanding.

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