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The opposition rejects the ordinances for open voting of the Senate – Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Opposition in Senate on Saturday rejected ordinance calling for open voting for upper house of parliament, with PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani going to the extent required to blame President Dr. Arif Alvi for promulgating the ordinance to move forward the agenda of the ruling parties.

Participating in the discussion on the presidential ordinance, the agenda with a point of the required session, Mr. Rabbani accused the president of violating the Constitution.

He said the president knew that a bill to change the constitution was already in the National Assembly even then he sent a reference to the Supreme Court. The president also knew he had foreshadowed the two chambers of parliament and the next day promulgated an ordinance in Senate polls, though he knew the reference was pending before the rooftop court.

“Today we should have discussed a resolution of indictment under Article 47 of the Constitution against the president,” he said. Rabbani.

Rabbani calls for blaming the president

The former President of the Senate said that according to Article 89 of the Constitution, the ordinance should have been thrown in each of the two chambers at its first session of the session (after the promulgation of the ordinance). As the National Assembly met on Friday and the Senate on Saturday, the ordinance was placed neither in the assembly nor in the upper house.

He argued that the ordinance was intended for interim legislation as the Supreme Court had stated several times that such legislation was temporary and that it could last for a maximum of 120 days and then automatically die if not approved and can again be left out. aside through a resolution of disapproval.

If the Senate polls are held under the ordinance, then it will have its consequences and there will open a huge court door whether the election was valid or not after the ordinance ends. Just to prevent a revolt in the party (PTI), constitutional institutions are being undermined, he said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said the opposition should have supported the open Senate election. We must end the policy of buying and selling votes in Senate elections.

He called for the restoration of the sanctity of the house by bringing transparency to the electoral process.

The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan objected to certain parts of Mr Rabbani’s speech and asked if it was a distrust of the case pending before the top court.

Referring to sub-article II of article 89, he said the ordinance would have force and effect as an act of parliament and then asked if a foreigner had promulgated the ordinance? Article 50 defines the parliament, composed of the president and his two chambers. If it is misspelled, then let’s change it, Mr Awan said. If this presidential ordinance is bad, then remove all ordinances, martial law regulations, and LFOs from the Constitution.

He said the president could exercise exclusively advisory jurisdiction under Article 186.

Regarding the blame, Mr. Babar said, they (opposition) would be welcome. It would fight and fail just as a two-time impeachment against an American president could not succeed.

He said that whatever decision would come from the Supreme Court, it would be before March 3 and would be implemented.

Opposition leader Raja Zafarul Haq said the opposition supported the position taken by the Pakistan Election Commission that voting should be by secret ballot under the Constitution and that through an ordinance, the Constitution could not be changed.

House Leader Dr Shahzad Waseem acknowledged that through the ordinance, the Constitution was not being changed.

Citing an All-Committee report on the subject, which was brought to the Senate in May 2016, he said one of the recommendations for bringing transparency to Senate polls was to write the name of a lawmaker on the ballot paper so that the voter can be identified if a party chairman wants to verify if he or she was in line with the party line and if he or she had violated it. Then there was also the mention of de-ul-ul a member challenging the party line by invoking the defect clause, he added.

He said the Senate intended to give proportional representation to political parties, being its underlining spirit, but the element of money and other offers would kill that spirit and lawmakers would go for small interests.

Jamaat-i-Islami Mushtaq Ahmad backed the call for the presidents to be blamed and said he (the president) had violated his powers while waiting for the two houses to be prorogged to promulgate an ordinance.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan said the six prime ministers determined to bring transparency and remove the role of money in politics.

The hearing was adjourned after the motion was discussed.

Published in Agim, 21 February 2021

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