Crucial day for PTI and opposition as Senate polls today

ISLAMABAD: Today is a crucial day in Parliamentary history of Pakistan and as voting will be held for 48 seats of Upper House of the Parliament. It is to be mentioned here that a total of 170 candidates had filed their nomination papers in the ECP for the polls on 48 seats in the upper house of the Parliament. 29 candidates from Punjab, 39 from Sindh, 51 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 41 from Balochistan and 10 from the federal capital Islamabad had submitted their details.

Polling for Senate elections will be held on March 3 at the Parliament house in Islamabad and the four provincial assemblies.

Secret ballot

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has said that the Senate elections slated today (Wednesday) will be held through secret ballot as per the previous procedure.

The ECP decision came a day after the Supreme Court gave its opinion on the presidential reference, ruling that the elections for the upper house of Parliament have to be conducted through secret ballot as required under the Constitution.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is meeting with MNA Lal Chand, Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Shunila Ruth, Jai Parkash and Jamshed Thomas on Tuesday in connection with Senate elections being held today, Wednesday. Federal Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Makhdoom Khusrau Bakhtiar and Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar are also present at the meeting.

An ECP meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja in the chair deliberated the SC opinion and decided to implement it in letter and spirit, according to a statement.

The Commission is taking all possible steps and measures to fulfill its constitutional duty to check that corrupt practices in the Senate Elections are guarded against the ECP said.

The Commission also decided that due to time constrain, ensuing Senate Election scheduled for 3rd March, 2021 will be conducted as provided in the Constitution and Law as per past practice.

Election Commission while taking a big decision in connection with the Senate polls has said the ballot papers of the Senate polls will be made like the past.

This decision was taken in ECP meeting held here under the Chief Election Commissioner. The ECP has taken this decision due to shortage of time. ECP has constituted a 3-member committee in the light of Supreme Court opinion. 

According to ECP the three members committee will present its recommendations within four weeks in the perspective of use of technology in the Senate polls. Committee will seek help from NADRA, FIA and Ministry of Information Technology. SC detailed opinion on presidential reference has not been received in election commission office.

Shahbaz, Asif allowed

Accountability Court (AC) Lahore has allowed Mian Shahbaz Sharif opposition leader in National Assembly (NA) and PML-N leader Khawaja Asif to proceed to Islamabad in connection with Senate polls.

Police told the court election commission has directed to bring Shahbaz Sharif to National Assembly.

Upon it AC allowed Shahbaz Sharif to go to Islamabad. The court also issued orders to allow Khawaja Asif to go to Islamabad to cast his vote in Senate polls.