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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Government mulling over early Senate elections, seeks SC’s opinion

The government has decided to work for holding the Senate elections in February instead of March. In this regard, the government has approached the Supreme Court for its opinion. Will PTI win more seats if PDM boycotts the elections?

The government has decided to work for holding the Senate elections in February instead of scheduled March, reported ARY News. The upcoming Senate elections will be held with ‘shows of hands instead of the secret ballot. The change in voting procedure will help to get rid of horse-trading in the elections of the upper house of the parliament.

The government is expected to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court over the matter. “The objective of the reforms in the Senate voting procedure is to ensure transparency in the electoral process,” Prime Minister Imran Khan was quoted as saying.

“Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan has submitted his proposals in the cabinet meeting over the issue.” “Prime Minister’s Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan also briefed the cabinet over the constitutional and political aspects of the matter in the meeting”.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz talking in ARY News 11th Hour said that ” No horse-trading will be held in this Senate election.”

“Holding elections is the responsibility of the election commission, we didn’t say that the elections will be held in February,” Shibli Faraz said.

“The government will file a reference under Article 186 of the constitution in the Supreme Court to seek the court’s opinion.”

Read more: PDM narrative ‘flops’ due to anti-Pakistan agenda: Ch Fawad

Attorney Khalid Javed has advised the government that the amendment in the election law will be enough to change the electoral procedure to show of hands instead of the secret ballot.

PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair commenting on the issue in the talk show said that the government will need an amendment in the constitution to amend the electoral process and it will require two-third majority.

“We will consult the legal experts over the matter,” Zubair said. “What is the reason behind the government’s decision not to hold the upper house elections in March, except their fear of the PDM movement,” PML-N leader said.

The term-wise data of the senators shows that out of the 52 members retiring from the present 103-member Senate in March next year, 34 belong to the opposition parties and 18 from the treasury benches.

The total strength of the Senate is 104, but former finance minister of the PML-N Ishaq Dar has not taken oath as a senator since he has been living in self-exile in London along with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Read more: PDM blames ISPR for a flop show in Lahore

The PML-N will be the biggest loser in terms of representation in the Senate as 57 percent of its members — the largest number belonging to a single party — are set to retire this March after completion of their six-year term. The data shows that out of its 30 present senators, 17 are set to retire in March next year.