ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan has drafted an amendment bill to bring important changes to the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, The Senate (Election) Act, 1975 and The Senate (Election) Rules, 1975, in the voting process of Senate elections for the upcoming elections to 52 Senate seats to end any kind of undemocratic practice of horse-trading.
Earlier, government has proposed the method of Senate voting that was open voting or show of hands instead of secret balloting that is currently in vogue. The proposed amendment will be made in two Acts: First, Article 226, Chapter 2 (Part VIII) of the Constitution of Pakistan describes the elections process as, “All elections under the Constitution, other than those of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, shall be by secret ballot.” Second, it will be made in the Section 23 (6) of Chapter III of The Senate (Election) Act, 1975 and Section 16 of The Senate (Election) Rules, 1975 that tells about the ‘Conduct of Election & Voting Procedure’ as “the polls shall be by secret ballot.”
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already formed two committees for contacting different political parties for ensuring transparency in Senate elections and discouraging horse trading. The two committees met PM at the PM House tomorrow and presented their reports.
The PM asked the Committees to enhance their contact with political parties so that procedure necessary for stopping horse trading can be agreed upon before the upcoming Senate elections, including a constitutional amendment, if required. The PM himself will also contact heads of political parties in this regard.
Important to note that this amendment will only exclude the Senate election from the purview of the secret ballot making it equivalent to the process for electing PMs and CMs.