The government has tabled a bill in the National Assembly to amend procedure of Senate election, while the opposition expressed anger and tore the copies of agenda in protest.
Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem introduced the 26th Amendment bill during Wednesday’s session. “This amendment is being introduced to allow Senate elections through open ballots and to allow people having dual nationality to run in the elections,” he said.
The minister requested the opposition to go through the constitution as there was nothing unconstitutional to amend it.
PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said that the government was targeting the opposition.
He alleged that the microphones of opposition members are turned off, and added every elected member has the right to speak.
Ahsan Iqbal said the Speaker is not supposed to side with any party. He is the Speaker of the house.
He said the opposition did not like to protest in the House and wanted proceedings to be constitutional.
PRESIDENTIAL REFERENCE: Meanwhile, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the conduct of Senate election under the existing system meant that the buying and selling of members would continue.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court is hearing the presidential reference for holding Senate election through open ballot.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that on what grounds Senate election through open ballot are being opposed. Opposition to the open ballot is intended to keep the current system running.
The operation of the existing system means that the buying and selling of members continues, he added.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that a lot has been changed through the 18th Amendment, why not the secret ballot of the Senate changed.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan questioned that why the Senate elections are secret.
The hearing of the case was adjourned till tomorrow.
ELECTION SCHEDULE: The Election Commission has said that it will announce the election schedule for Senate on February 11.
The commission has started issuing nomination papers to the candidates.
A total Rs1.5 million will be spent on the elections, it added.