This photo shows the Parliament House of Pakistan. File/AFP
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
The Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) governments have supported the holding of Senate elections through the open balloting and requested the Supreme Court to give its opinion on the subject.
In pursuance of a court order, the two provincial governments have filed their written synopses in the presidential reference seeking its opinion whether the Senate polls should be held through the open balloting or secret vote.
Attorney General Khalid Jawed will submit a written synopsis to the apex court January 11. The court had directed him to argue whether the reference was maintainable or not.
Imran Khan visits Quetta, meets families of slain coal miners
UAE helps flood-hit people of Malaysia
The Punjab government said that the national and provincial members’ illegal, immoral and unlawful acts of casting votes in the Senate election from time to time in violation of party discipline for personal gains had led to an urgent desire to put an end to this menace. This practice has shaken the basic principles of democracy.
It submitted that Article 226 was not self-executing and thus required aid of supplementary provisions, which in this case were the provisions of the Elections Act laying down a complete secret ballot.
Hence, it contended, the elections to the Senate are not held solely under the Constitution but as a matter of fact they are also governed under the Elections Act.
It is the considered view of Punjab that the reference may be answered in the affirmative so that by undertaking necessary remedial statutory action, the Elections Act is amended so that the election to the Senate is held through open ballot, the Punjab government said.
Similarly, the KP government said that every voter has the right to vote in a free and fair manner and not disclose to any person how he had voted but here "we are concerned with a voter who is elected by the masses on the ticket of a political party and must now uphold the will of his own electorate in the upcoming election of Senate.”The government sees a great advantage if Senate elections are held through a system of open balloting. It was submitted that the presidential reference seeking the opinion of the apex court on holding the senate elections through open ballot and show of hands was maintainable.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), which translates into Pakistan Movement for Justice, has 12 seats in the Senate, and the two main opposition parties Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) have 12 and 25 seats each.
Gilani, fielded by the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) secured 169 votes while Hafeez Sheikh could manage 164 ballots. Seven votes were declared invalid and were rejected by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, who won a vote of confidence from Parliament on Saturday, shows people who voted against the candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Hafeez Shaikh on March 3 Senate election were manipulated by opposition
According to a notification, the female students and staffers have been asked to wear an abaya, scarf and shalwar kameez instead of skinny jeans, tights and t-shirts. Excessive makeup, jewels and carrying large hand bags has also been forbidden.
The Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai, derailed and fell on the opposite track, with many people still trapped, the reports said.
Sheikh Mohammed added in a tweet on Twitter: "We found its executive director at the service counters, receiving customers, speeding up procedures, and contributing to clearing transactions. The secret shopper assured us that providing the service did not exceed five minutes."
The first lady arrived in Cairo from Amman, where she attended the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein. She is travelling to Morocco on Saturday before heading to Portugal, the final stop of her tour, on Monday.