ISLAMABAD, Feb 20 (APP):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan Saturday asked the opposition parties to avoid preempting the decisions of the Supreme Court when it was taking up the cases with regard to holding the upcoming Senate elections.
He was speaking on floor of the Senate that met on requisition of opposition parties to debate on a motion regarding the Presidential Ordinance promulgated to make amendments to the Election Act 2017 and hold the upcoming Senate polls.
Dr Babar said the matter was subjudice and the opposition members should refrain from commenting on any possible verdict of the apex court in that regard.
Defending the promulgation of the Presidential Ordinance, he said it was promulgated in line with all constitutional and legal provisions.
He read out the relevant clauses of the articles of the Constitution in support of his arguments and said the Parliament had been giving cover to such ordinances and Legal Framework Orders in the past in the given circumstances.
The advisor was of the view that the matter was with the Supreme Court and its verdict would come before March 3, adding the Senate elections would be held in line with the decision.
He said if the decision was affirmative, the ordinance would stand and if it was otherwise, it would come to an end.
Leader of Opposition Raja Zafar ul Haq moved the motion and initiated debate, saying the upcoming Senate elections should be conducted as per the Constitution of the country.
Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem said the ordinance was promulgated to bring changes in the elections act not in the constitution.
He said it was unfortunate that the leadership of the PPP and PML-N signed the Charter of Democracy and promised to hold senate elections through open ballot but now backtracked from this position.
In the recent past, Waseem said, the then leader of the House Raja Zafar- ul-Haq had moved a motion in the committee of the whole for holding of senate election through open ballot.
He also read recommendations of the whole committee for holding senate elections through open ballot. He said that the leadership of PML-N and PPP had backtracked from their commitment to hold the Senate election through open ballot.
Participating in the discussion, Senator Javed Abbasi said any amendments in the constitution should be brought in the Parliament.
He said it was unfortunate that the government had approached the Supreme Court on the Senate election.
He said it would have been much better if a parliamentary committee had been constituted to discuss the recommendations of the Senate Committee of the Whole.
Senator Raza Rabbani said as per the constitutional provisions, the government was bound to table any ordinances promulgated by the president in the first sitting of the Senate or National Assembly after their summoning.
However, he said, in case of any compelling circumstances, the ordinances should be tabled within 10 days of the sessions’ summoning, with proper justification for delay of each and single day.