PM vows to end malpractices in senate elections

Senate elections to be held through secret ballot: SC

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Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday met with Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) and discussed matters related to their constituencies.

The MNAs, who called on the prime minister here at the Parliament House, included Gul Dad Khan, Gul Zafar Khan, Jawad Hussain, Muhammad Iqbal Afridi, Sajid Khan, Dr Haider Ali, Noor Alam Khan, Muhammad Aslam Bhootani, Uzma Riaz, Zille-e-Huma, Nafeesa Khattak and Shandana Gulzar.

Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor ul Haq Qadi and Special Assistant Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar were also present during the meeting.

Earlier, The Supreme Court with a 4-1 majority on Monday opined that the Senate elections would be held through secret balloting under Article 226 of the Constitution.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi announced the reserved opinion on the Presidential Reference regarding Senate elections. Justice Yahya Afridi disagreed with the majority opinion.

The eight-page court opinion stated that the Senate elections were held under the Constitution and the law. “It is the duty of the Election Commission of Pakistan in terms of Article 218(3) of the Constitution, to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, fairly and in accordance with the law and that corrupt practices are guarded against on which this court has given successive judgments and the most exhaustive being Workers Party Pakistan through Akhtar Hussain Advocate vs Federation of Pakistan (PLD 20123 SC 681),” it noted.

The court stated that the ECP was required by the Constitution to take all necessary steps in order to fulfill the mandate/duty in terms of Article 222 of the Constitution, which empowers the Parliament, subject to the Constitution to legislate, inter alia, on the conduct of elections and matters relating to corrupt practices and other offences in connection with elections but categorically provides that, “no such law shall have the effect of taking away or abridging any of the powers of the Commissioner or the Election Commission” under Part VIII, Chapter 1 of the Constitution. Further in terms of Article 220 of the Constitution, all the executive authorities in the Federation and provinces are obliged to assist the Commissioner and the ECP in discharge of his or their functions, as provided for in Article 218(3) of the Constitution, it added.

 

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