Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said the government will follow and accept the guidance of the Supreme Court in the case of open ballot in Senate elections.
President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday signed off the Election Amendment Ordinance 2021 under which the upcoming Senate elections can be held through open balloting.
The amendment has been introduced in section 33, 86 and 122 of the Election Act 2017. The federal government also sought the Supreme Court’s opinion on whether the Senate elections could be held through open ballot by amending the Election Act 2017 that requires simple legislation.
The foreign minister said the PTI-led government has filed a petition in the court and the government has two options, either to seek guidance or make an amendment in the Constitution, for which two-thirds majority is required in the Parliament.
He added that the opposition parties had been demanding for open balloting for senate elections in the past but they are now opposing it for the sake of political scoring.
The country’s top diplomat maintained that the government had invited the opposition for dialogue and had provided a chance to them to work through differences in a democratic way, however, the opportunity was not taken by the opposition.
Referring to the opposition’s claims in regards to the army’s role in the politics of the country, he said that the armed forces were protecting the borders and guarding the security of the country. “Politicians should not politicise the role of armed forces,” he added.
Qureshi also paid tribute to the martyrs in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and said that the government of Pakistan is raising the matter of the atrocities of the Indian fascist regime against innocent Kashmiris at all world fora and will continue to support the oppressed Kashmiris.
Senate elections have previously always been held through secret ballot and federal government’s decision to alter the practice has been met with disapproval from the Election Commission of Pakistan, all opposition parties as well as all bar associations.
credit : https://tribune.com.pk/