by Sapna Sewani Advocate
“Article 226: All elections under the constitution shall be by secret ballot.”
After the writ petition filed under article 226 of the constitution of Pakistan by the opposition parties, the presidential reference was issued regarding senate elections through secret ballot. Later on, the opposition parties repelled and filled a case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that senate elections, due this week, must be held under a secret ballot, effectively nullifying the government’s move requiring the open ballot.
Furthermore, the SC instructed the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold free and fair elections and ruled that it was the responsibility of the election commission to end corrupt practices.
PTI government and senate elections
The PTI government is failed to deliver in the first two years because of its botch decisions. This is evident that three MPA’s from Sindh came out and decided not to vote for the PTI’s government in the senate elections. Opposition parties are claiming that many PTI members are contacting them for the senate election, furthermore, they are also claiming that they have gained the figure of 200 to get their own senate chairman. However, it is quite early to say since senate elections are to be held on 3rd of March. There will be a huge battle between the government and opposition parties. The government is also trying to give tough time to the opposition parties as Imran Khan himself has started campaigning for the elections.
Abdul Hafeez Vs Yousuf Raza Gilani
Dr. Hafeez Shaikh is a technocrat and during the tenure of PPP-led coalition, he was appointed as finance adviser on IMF’s demand and, later on, he became a finance minister and Yousuf Raza Gilani was elected as the prime minister of Pakistan. Yousuf Raza Gilani has also served as speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan. Both the contestants have worked very closely and certainly a very interesting and close contest is expected between PTI’s Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and opposition’s Yousaf Raza Gilani in the upcoming Senate election despite the ruling alliance’s upper hand due to its thin majority in the National Assembly.
Overall, there are 104 seats and rumors are there that PDM has full support from different parties and this can be a reason that they have rejected the government’s offer of six senate seats from Balochistan. PDM has also started its brainstorming sessions with different political party leaders across Pakistan except MQM and PML (Q). In view of this important contest, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has also gone to Islamabad to vote for the PDM candidate. The former president had not attended the NA session for some time due to his illness but sources say that Asif Ali Zardari will also attend both the receptions; one in the honor of the PPP candidates and the other one in the honor of PDM candidates.
Ms. Sapna Sewani is an advocate at High Court, she is a professional lawyer, legal advisor and practicing in the high court and city court of Karachi, she is also the member of Sindh Bar Council and human rights activist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org