PML-N challenges vote reform ord in IHC

Observer Report

The Pakistan Muslim League-N challenged on Thursday the presidential ordinance authorising and binding the Election Commission of Pakistan to procure Electronic Voting Machines and enabling overseas Pakistanis to exercise their right to vote.

The ordinance, promulgated in May, was challenged by PML-N’s Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha in the Islamabad High Court, praying the court to declare the changes to the country’s electoral law as unconstitutional, illegal and null and void.

The petitioner further prayed that according to media reports, the government issued a one-page ordinance on May 9 without taking public representatives into confidence over this important legislation.

“The government has promulgated more than 54 presidential ordinances since September 24, 2018.

Issuing ordinances has become a norm [in this country] which is depriving public representatives of the right to legislate,” the petitioner argued.

The petitioner further contended that the president’s power to issue ordinances is for emergency purposes without which issuing a presidential ordinance would be tantamount to disrespecting the parliament.