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President Alvi signs off on ordinance to hold Senate polls through open vote

HAIDER

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President Alvi signs off on ordinance to hold Senate polls through open vote
Dawn.comPublished February 6, 2021Updated about an hour ago
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President Arif Alvi has signed off on a presidential ordinance to amend the Election Act 2017. — DawnNewsTV/File

President Arif Alvi has signed off on a presidential ordinance to amend the Election Act 2017. — DawnNewsTV/File
The 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, shared by Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Twitter, 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.

According to the document shared by the information minister, the ordinance shall come into effect at once and extend to the whole of Pakistan.
"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, the presidential ordinance added.
The government on Thursday tabled the Constitution Amendment Bill in the National Assembly to hold Senate polls through the open vote, but the opposition rejected the bill, created pandemonium and the bill could not be approved by the house. The rumpus forced the deputy speaker to prorogue the NA session.
After an abortive attempt to get the bill approved from the National Assembly, the government decided to implement its decision by introducing the presidential ordinance.
A source in the federal cabinet had told Dawn that a summary for introducing the presidential ordinance was approved by the cabinet members through circulation on Friday.
In November last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan had vowed to hold elections for the upper house of parliament through "show of hands", and not by secret ballot, to ensure transparency and eliminate "vote trading".
At present, the opposition is in majority in the Senate and, therefore, many times legislation passed by the National Assembly was bulldozed by in the upper house in the recent past.
The forthcoming elections are, therefore, crucial for the government to secure a majority in the house where polls are held every three years when the term of half of the senators expires.
Read: PTI to emerge as largest party in a hung Senate
As many as 52 senators are set to retire — 50 per cent of the 104-member house — on March 11 after completing their six-year tenure. However, this time there will be no polling for the four seats of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) after its merger with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Therefore, polling will be held to elect 48 senators — 12 each from KP and Balochistan, 11 each from Punjab and Sindh and two from Islamabad. Polling will be held to elect seven members on general seats, two women and two technocrats in the four provinces. Besides this, the election on one minority seat each in KP and Balochistan will also be conducted.
When the MPAs will elect senators from respective provinces, members of the National Assembly will be voting to elect a senator on general seat and the other on a woman seat from Islamabad.
The government has already moved a presidential reference in the Supreme Court seeking an open vote for the Senate. However, the Supreme Court is yet to take a decision on the reference, whereas opposition parties have already announced that they will not support such a move from the government at a time when the elections are just a month away.
'Govt is worried'
Earlier today, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the government's decision to promulgate an ordinance for holding Senate polls through open vote was a "political indication that it is worried".
He had questioned the government's move, stating that the matter was sub judice. "What is the point behind taking this step? Are you trying to put pressure on the apex court? Or are they feeling [pressure] from the [Pakistan Democratic Movement] and are trying to influence the country's institutions?"
The PPP chairman maintained that as far as passing legislation and making constitutional amendments is concerned, it is the parliament's job.
He stated that the government's current way to going about the whole situation was "undemocratic" and claimed that its intentions were to "rig the Senate elections once again in favour of a selected political party".
"The PDM in its meeting a couple of days ago discussed this issue and we believe that open ballot reforms can only be part of a large comprehensive electoral reforms package" that can only be passed by parliament, he said.
 

BATMAN

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Ordinance is prerogative of President but it should not be exploited for personal gains or to strengthen Iranian control over Pakistan's governing structure.

Why not general elections and that of parliamentary as well are conducted in similar way?
This way all allegations of rigging will be erased for ever... now even the senate elections are done by show of hands nothing change the fact that they are product of rigged elections on the first place.
 

Black.Mamba

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Why not general elections and that of parliamentary as well are conducted in similar way?
This way all allegations of rigging will be erased for ever... now even the senate elections are done by show of hands nothing change the fact that they are product of rigged elections on the first place.
What exactly are you high on?

You want a "show of hand" by 100s of Millions of people? And how do you plan on achieving it? Like everyone should go out in the open and Hubble telescope will take their picture? :what:
 

BATMAN

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What exactly are you high on?

You want a "show of hand" by 100s of Millions of people? And how do you plan on achieving it? Like everyone should go out in the open and Hubble telescope will take their picture? :what:
Smart people are always seem high to average minded but you are below average.
people can vote with their identity card in front of election officer and their information can be kept encrypted, but people should always be able to check if their vote is counted in correct account.
 

RealNapster

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is prerogative of President but it should not be exploited for personal gains or to strengthen Iranian control over Pakistan's governing structure.

Why not general elections and that of parliamentary as well are conducted in similar way
Abay, awaam horse trading ni krti political parties krti senate elections me or speaker depth speaker elections me. Pta ni kon Irani apko is zaalim dunya me tanha Chor gya .. poor you.
What exactly are you high on?

You want a "show of hand" by 100s of Millions of people? And how do you plan on achieving it? Like everyone should go out in the open and Hubble telescope will take their picture? :what:
Asal me typical bawaseer Ka elaaj hay but moo Kay bawasir Ka elaaj abi tak ni dryaaft Hua hence why we face the issue from some members.
 

Indus Pakistan

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He stated that the government's current way to going about the whole situation was "undemocratic" and claimed that its intentions were to "rig the Senate elections once again in favour of a selected political party".
Please somebody ask this gayboy what is their to "rig" when this is about having a 'open vote'. Surely having it open will prevent dirty games being played.
Iranian control over Pakistan's governing structure.
Is this guy a drug addict?

You want a "show of hand" by 100s of Millions of people? And how do you plan on achieving it? Like everyone should go out in the open and Hubble telescope will take their picture? :what:
Hahahaha .....
 

BATMAN

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Abay, awaam horse trading ni krti political parties krti senate elections me or speaker depth speaker elections me. Pta ni kon Irani apko is zaalim dunya me tanha Chor gya .. poor you.


Asal me typical bawaseer Ka elaaj hay but moo Kay bawasir Ka elaaj abi tak ni dryaaft Hua hence why we face the issue from some members.
I can already see that proposal of open general elections is a big no by majority of pdf.

If you don't agree to my proposal, than simply say you don't agree, no need to show that you are one of the Iranian mafia who is allowed to freely get abusive on pdf.

Iran can easily swing 10-20 thousand votes in each constituency and this is enough to keep PPP and PTI in power.
This is why, in my opinion open general elections are important to protect sovereignty of Pakistan, which is hijacked by way of ballot.

Whereas Iranian crimes against Pakistan has long list, but (not) surprisingly hordes of pdf could not spot a single evil in it. Which actually prove my point.
 

Pakistan First

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Smart people are always seem high to average minded but you are below average.
people can vote with their identity card in front of election officer and their information can be kept encrypted, but people should always be able to check if their vote is counted in correct account.
Sometimes, it's better to just read than to post.
 

RealNapster

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can already see that proposal of open general elections is a big no by majority of pdf
It's technically impossible for Pakistan to pull that off. We acquire foreign funds and assistance for current elections because we are unable to conduct it all by ourselves.
 

syedtalhamaududi

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A change in the constitution requires 2/3 majority in parliament, including the change in voting style for the senate.
Senate elections are held in a secret ballot whilst those for the pm etc are in open ballot.
One must ask why the difference was introduced in the original constitution of 1973.
It allows decent against the government position. Decent is always important.
Now one look into the current governments intentions.
The government felt a secret ballot was ok for the voting of no confidence against the current head of the senate as it suited them at that point.
Now the current government feels there is an undercurrent from within its own ranks which is against its policies.
 

TheDarkKnight

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Ordinance is prerogative of President but it should not be exploited for personal gains or to strengthen Iranian control over Pakistan's governing structure.

Why not general elections and that of parliamentary as well are conducted in similar way?
This way all allegations of rigging will be erased for ever... now even the senate elections are done by show of hands nothing change the fact that they are product of rigged elections on the first place.
So to reduce the alleged Iranian influence shouldnt we make Senate elections more transparent, so all the Iranian agents can be caught? Keeping it hidden wont allow for any scrutiny.

If you are even supportive of open elections via show of hands for the general elections - which will involve 100+ million people instead of a few hundred - then I think you should be supporting this step of PTI for senate elections at least. Lets at least make the senate free of all Iranian agents, so MPAs cannot be bought by the Iranian govt ever.
 
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BATMAN

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So to reduce the alleged Iranian influence shouldnt we make Senate elections more transparent, so all the Iranian agents can be caught? Keeping it hidden wont allow for any scrutiny.

If you are even supportive of open elections via show of hands for the general elections - which will involve 100 million people instead of a few hundred, then I think you would be supporting this step of PTI for senate elections at least. Lets at least make the senate free of all Iranian agents, so MPAs are not bought by Iranian govt.
We are also living in so called democracy... Imran Khan should hold local body elections.
 

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