Ban Imposed on MPA/MNA's on taking Photographs
ISLAMABAD: A ban is imposed on members of the provincial and national assemblies on bringing with them devices that can be used to take photographs during the upcoming Senate elections by the Election Commission (ECP) of Pakistan on Tuesday on, Radio Pakistan said.
The ECP also stated that elections for the Upper House would be held through secret balloting and Returning Officers (ROs) have been instructed to ensure secrecy of ballots.
Polling for Senate elections would take place in the national and provincial assemblies on March 5.
The commission also notified the candidates that they could withdraw from elections by Wednesday noon.
According to the final list of candidates released by the ECP last week, 84 candidates would be contesting for 33 general seats, 21 for nine seats reserved for women, 18 for eight seats reserved for ulema and technocrats and eight for two seats reserved for non-Muslims.
Despite his party being in opposition, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has once again emerged as a central player in the politicking taking place around the upcoming Senate elections.
Over the past couple of days, the heads of nearly all key political parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, have conferred with the former president, who had arrived in Islamabad last week, ahead of a government-convened multi-party conference on the proposed 22nd amendment.
An official statement issued by PTI Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari regarding Mr Khan’s conversation with the PPP co-chairperson created confusion in political circles.
Mazari claimed that Mr Khan had actually asked Mr Zardari to support the proposed amendment allowing open balloting in the Senate polls. She said Mr Khan had told the PPP leader that such an amendment would strengthen democracy and democratic norms in the country.
On the other hand, Mr Zardari’s spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar claimed that Mr Zardari was returning the PTI chief’s call, which he had been unable to receive. “It really doesn’t matter who made the call. This shows that all parties are equally concerned over the practice of the use of money in the Senate elections and want to discourage such practices,” he said, adding however, that the PPP was not ready to support the idea of open ballots for the Senate.
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