Alvi promulgates presidential ordinance to hold Senate polls through open vote

Alvi promulgates presidential ordinance to hold Senate polls through open vote

The federal government on Saturday promulgated a presidential ordinance to make amendments to the Election Act, 2017, to hold Senate polls through open vote.

The Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 202, 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.

A day before, the federal cabinet had approved a government move to promulgate a presidential ordinance to make an amendment to the Election Act, 2017, to hold Senate polls through open vote.

A member of the federal cabinet told The Islamabad Observer that a summary for introducing the presidential ordinance was approved by the cabinet members through circulation on Friday.

The decision for introducing the presidential ordinance was taken after the opposition staged a demonstration in the National Assembly on Thursday to block the passage of Constitution Amendment Bill, tabled by the government for holding Senate polls through the open ballot.

After abortive attempt to get the bill approved from the National Assembly, the government has now decided to implement its decision by introducing the presidential ordinance.

"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."