Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz held a joint press conference with Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar here on Tuesday (today).
Asad Umar says the government will take every possible measure, within the Constitution, to ensure transparency in the upcoming Senate elections and to end horse-trading in the polling process.
Regarding the stance of the Opposition towards the introduction of open-ballot voting in the Senate, he said that those who have been buying and selling votes in the past are the ones objecting to the move.
“It is no secret that buying and selling of votes have been a tradition in Senate elections,” he said, adding that the PTI came to power with the aim to eradicate corrupt practices from the country, such as the tradition of horse-trading in Senate elections.
“For the purpose, the government has tabled a Constitutional amendment in the National Assembly to hold Senate elections through an open-ballot voting system,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Syed Shibli Faraz said the cabinet has approved extension of Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement for three months with effect from Thursday.
He said the cabinet also expressed displeasure on the unscheduled load shedding, and asked the authorities concerned to end this on urgent basis.
He said the cabinet was also apprised that government’s Roshan Digital Account initiative is yielding positive results and so far around 500 million dollars have been received under this project.
Furthermore, talking about steps taken to control inflation in the country, Faraz said that market committees have been abolished, and the district administration has been asked to control the prices of the essential commodities to provide maximum relief to the masses.
Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 2021
President Dr Arif Alvi has on Saturday signed the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 for Senate elections to be held via an “open and identifiable ballot”.
The Ordinance will be effective with immediate effect subject to the interpretation of the Supreme Court on Presidential reference already sub-judice in the apex court.
The amendment has been introduced in section 33, 86 and 122 of the Election Act 2017.
Under the new ordinance, the election for Senate will be held on the open ballot.
“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 the open and identifiable ballot,” reads the Ordinance.