Senate Election: PPP to challenge open ballot ordinance in court

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Islamabad – Staff Reporter:

People’s Party’s chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday discussed the Senate election ordinance with the party’s Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari, party sources said.

According to sources, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari consulted with Bukhari in a telephonic conversation over the presidential ordinance on the Senate election and decided to challenge it in the court.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Nayyar Bukhari has said that the People’s Party will become a party in the presidential reference, filed in the Supreme Court seeking the court’s opinion over holding the upcoming Senate election through the open ballot.

“The party will also challenge recently promulgated presidential ordinance to hold Senate polls through open vote, in the high court”.

“The ordinance for holding the Senate polls by open ballot is malicious and the PPP will take all legal and constitutional steps against it,” Bukhari said.

The government had recently promulgated a presidential ordinance to make amendments to the Election Act, 2017, to hold Senate polls through the open ballot.

However, application of the ordinance is conditional on the Supreme Court’s opinion on whether secret balloting under Article 226 of the Constitution includes the Senate polls.

The government has filed a reference in the apex court, asking for its interpretation of the relevant article. If the court interprets secret balloting referred to in Article 226 to also include Senate elections, then the ordinance will not hold since a constitutional amendment will be required to hold Senate polls through open ballot.

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