ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday cleared the air over holding early Senate elections and said that it has the authority to hold the polls on 52 seats of the upper house of the Parliament between February 11 to March 11, 2020, ARY NEWS reported.
“A law defining procedure of the Senate polls is already present,” the election commission said adding that the ECP has 30 days to hold the elections on the seats of retiring Senators.
Half of the Senators in the upper house will retire by March 11, 2020 after completing their six-year tenure and an election for the slot of Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate would be held on March 12.
The chairman and deputy chairman would take oath of their responsibilities on the same day.
It is pertinent to mention here that on December 15, the federal government decided to hold Senate elections in February rather than in March.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan further decided to hold Senate elections through a show of hands procedure rather than a secret ballot.
For this purpose, the top consultative body of the federal government decided to approach the Supreme Court of Pakistan in this regard, where it would file a reference under Article 186 of the Constitution of Pakistan for the changes.
Later on December 16, Prime Minister Imran Khan also confirmed the move saying that the government will hold the Senate elections, scheduled for March, at an earlier date.
Speaking to the media here, he revealed the government has decided to hold the polls through show of hands instead of a secret ballot to bring an end to the practice of horse-trading and added it is going to approach the Supreme Court to seek its opinion on the proposed changes in the voting procedure.