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Issuing ordinance a month earlier than Senate polls an assault on Structure: Sherry Rehman

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PPP chief Senator Sherry Rehman. Picture: File/Geo.television
  • Sherry Rehman says authorities’s determination to challenge an ordinance “overnight” is an “attack on the parliament and Constitution”
  • Raza Rabbani claims Opposition was not consulted, says ordinance is borne out of “malicious intent”
  • PTI’s Shahbaz Gill reminds PPP that late Benazir Bhutto was the one to stipulate the concept of open-ballot voting for Senate elections within the Constitution of Democracy

KARACHI: PPP Senator Sherry Rehman on Sunday stated that the PTI authorities has issued ordinances relating to the Senate elections “overnight”, including that the transfer is an “attack on the Constitution and the parliament.”

Rehman, together with different PPP leaders, was talking throughout a press convention in Karachi throughout which she stated that the federal government “does not have a two-thirds majority to pass a constitutional amendment.”

“Why did the government introduce an amendment only one month before the Senate polls? Sherry Rehman questioned. “Issuing ordinances in a single day on this means is an assault on the Structure in addition to the parliament.”

She added that it is the job of the parliament to bring about constitutional amendments, adding that the government should have taken the Opposition’s viewpoints on board before issuing the ordinance.

‘Govt did not hold dialogue with Opposition’

Adding to Rehman’s criticism of the government, senior PPP leader and former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani claimed that the government “didn’t seek the advice of any political events or PPP parliamentarians earlier than drafting the modification invoice of the Senate elections”.

“The PTI-led authorities didn’t maintain any dialogue with the Opposition relating to the modification,” Rabbani said, adding that the ordinance issued by the government in relation to the Senate election is based on “malicious intent.”

“The federal government is making the Senate elections controversial. The regulation permits us to problem this ordinance in courtroom,” he said. “The cupboard is blind and it appears it can’t learn the Structure.”

Read more: PPP’s Sherry Rehman deeply concerned over ‘deliberate restrictions on women’s voting’

Govt responds to PPP’s criticism

Responding to the PPP’s criticism, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill said that for the past two years, the PPP did not contribute to any legislation of national interest. 

“It was Bibi (late Benazir Bhutto) who had stipulated the concept of open-ballot voting for Senate elections within the Constitution of Democracy,” he said. “Why is bringing an finish to the ‘horse-trading’ custom inflicting the PPP a lot ache?” 

President ratifies Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 2021

President Arif Alvi on Saturday signed the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 to pave the way for Senate elections to be held via an “open and identifiable poll”.

According to the Ordinance, changes have been brought to Sections 81, 122 and 185 of the Elections Act, 2017.

The Ordinance will come into effect “directly” and “prolong to the entire of Pakistan”.

It has been made topic to a pending opinion by the Supreme Court docket on a presidential reference within the matter.

“Provided that in case the Supreme Court of Pakistan gives an opinion in Reference No. 1 of 2021 filed under Article 186 of the Constitution, that elections for the members of the Senate do not fall within the purview of Article 226 of the Constitution, the poll for elections for members of the Senate to be held in March 2021 and thereafter shall be conducted by the Commission through an open and identifiable ballot,” learn the Ordinance.

Based on Part 226 of the Structure: “All elections under the Constitution, other than those of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, shall be by secret ballot.”

Learn extra: President Arif Alvi indicators ordinance for open balloting in Senate elections

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