ISLAMABAD – The Federal Cabinet has approved a summary to amendment the Election Act, 2017 through presidential ordinance for holding the upcoming Senate polls through an open ballot, it surfaced on Saturday.
The cabinet’s nod was gotten through a circulation summary as the government is short of time for the legislation as opposition parties are opposing it.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced to release the schedule for polls of the Upper House of the parliament on February 11.
Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan reportedly drafted the ordinance which has been forwarded to Prime Minister Imran Khan for his nod.
The decision to promulgate the ordinance coincided with a presidential reference pending in the Supreme Court to seek the opinion of the court on the matter.
On the other hand, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto hit out at the government for introducing the ordinance at a time when the matter is in the court.
He accused the government of not holding sincere consultation with the opposition parties on the matter.
The PPP chief said that the PTI government attempted to make the institution controversial by sending the reference to the court.
In response, PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan in a statement said: “You must win fair and square. Skipper Imran Khan once again proved himself as a genuine leader. Bringing Ordinance for Open Vote in Senate polls further pushes his stance for giving level playing field to all and eleminating corruption”.
He reiterated that open balloting will ensure “transparency which is not acceptable to opposition – Reasons known to all. They can’t win without giving bribes”.
“He [Imran Khan] held the longest ever protest against election rigging and for fixing the entire system of elections. He has led by example as he fired his own 20 MPs over selling their votes in Senate polls. insha’ALLAH Senate Polls will be held via Open Ballot,” he announced.