PPP hails SC’s opinion on Senate polls presidential reference | The Express Tribune


The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) welcomed on Monday the Supreme Court‘s (SC) opinion on the Senate polls presidential reference on open balloting.

Earlier in the day, the apex court said that the polls for the upper house must be held through a secret ballot according to Article 226 of the Constitution.

In a stinging statement issued by PPP Secretary General Farhatullah Babar, the verdict was hailed as the “triumph of law, justice and Constitutionalism”. It is also a vindication of the position taken by the PPP in the top court on the issue, he said.

The PPP deplored that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for “abusing the office of the president by filing the reference and then in making the president’s office also issue an ordinance even before the verdict was pronounced and the court was already seized of the matter”.

Also read: Unraveling mystery: A layman’s guide to senate elections

Never before has legislation been sought to be done through what has come to be known as ‘anticipatory ordinance’, Babar added.

He said it was “no less deplorable that the president also signed on the dotted line of the advice sent to him in filing reference under the Constitution before the SC as well as in issuing an ‘anticipatory ordinance’ without applying his mind and without asking any questions from the government”.

“The office of the president of Pakistan is and ought to be much more than merely an ordinance making workshop,” the PPP stalwart stated.

In its opinion, the top court stated that the ECP was empowered to take all measures to curb corrupt practices under Article 218(3).

Also read: Shibli terms SC’s opinion on Senate polls ‘historic’

The decision was taken with a 4-1 majority. “Secrecy is not absolute,” the decision added.

Identifiable ballot papers

Meanwhile, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan said that the SC had directed for identifiable ballot papers to be used in Senate polls. “We have got what we wanted!” he stated.

The AGP further said that, “Now it is up to the ECP to either print the barcode or the serial number on the ballot paper.”

Khan opined that the electoral authority has to now take measures to make the polls transparent in light of the top court’s decision.

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