Presidential Ordinance Challenged in SC by FATA MNAs
ISLAMABAD: MNAs from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have challenged the passing of the presidential ordinance concerning the voting procedure in senate elections in both the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court.
The petition adopted the stance that the election method instituted by the presidential ordinance should be reversed and the Fata senate elections should be conducted according to the method of voting employed in previous elections.
The presidential ordinance issued on Wednesday night, only a few hours before the senate election, permits Fata MNAs to only cast one vote, unlike the previous method outlined by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that allowed tribal senators to cast four votes.
However, despite the promulgation of the presidential ordinance, the ECP did not change the voting procedure, causing confusion.
The ordinance was issued on the basis of a summary moved by the Safron ministry and withdraws the Statutory Regulatory Order of July 7, 1975, as well as a 2002 executive order — issued by former president Gen Pervez Musharraf — which gave each tribal senator as many votes as the number of vacant seats.
Following the withdrawal of the two earlier orders, each Fata MNA will now only have one vote.
In an interview, Federal Minister Riaz Pirzada stated that the presidential ordinance should not have been promulgated in the face of opposition by Fata MNAs. "It should not have been done when people who are affected by it are not in favour of it."
MNAs from Fata have reportedly expressed the opinion that the PML-N, in order to make their own candidate a senator, have orchestrated the change in voting rules. Mr. Pirzada was unable to verify or deny this statement but reiterated that the Fata MNAs were protesting.
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