Published On: Sat, Feb 20th, 2021
Published in Category: Politics

Representation of every political party in Senate should be proportional to its votes: Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan

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ISLAMABAD: Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan has remarked representation of every political party in Senate should be proportional to its votes.

He further remarked it is not necessary that single transferable vote goes against the ruling party. The allied parties can have their own strength. No matter what system is adopted there should be representation in the Senate of the parties which are being represented in provincial assemblies.

He observed the law minister said while the constitution of 1973 was being framed that the provincial seats should have representation in Senate. The word of proportional representation is there in articles 51 and 59. What was logic behind keeping the vote secret.

The case for presidential reference on Senate open balloting came up for hearing before a five members larger bench of SC presided over by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmad Friday.

Mian Raza Rabbani counsel for PPP said the vote has been kept secret perhaps for the reason that no party could get proportional representation correctly. If the principles were to be followed then there should have been party list. In Punjab PTI and PML-Q are allied parties. PTI is giving one senator to PML-Q out of four or five senators. Will it reflect proportional representation if one senator of PTI becomes less. The political alliance is not secret. But if the individual voter wants he can keep his vote secret.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial while addressing Mian Raza Rabbani said you can narrate your argument in other way. PTI and PML-Q alliance is emerging alliance in Punjab. I cannot talk about it more. Question is this why the Senate vote is secret in the event of alliance.

Counsel for Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) told the court election commission has filed the copy of code of conduct prepared by it for voters.

Earlier Mian Raza Rabbani while opening his arguments said that he will first of all give replies to the questions raised by Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan.

He said the basic objective of creation of Senate is federalism. The 14th point of 14 points of Quaid-e-Azam was federalism. The basic objective of establishment of senate was to eliminate the atmosphere of suffocation and give proportional representation. Such small parties which have 4 provincial seats get representation in Senate. Single transferable vote concept was given to provide opportunity to small parties to talk in federal.

He said the majority of people of Pakistan is in National Assembly while federation of Pakistan is represented in Senate. We should find the solution to issue in the constitution. The senate can reject the bill even if it is passed in national assembly. The senate has to decide the bill in 90 days. Provincial assembly has proportional representation in the senate. It is not necessary that ruling party may have its government in the province too. We will have to understand the minds of the constitution makers.

He said on one occasion it is a general impression that a member of parliament is not a good lawyer.

CJP while addressing him remarked you are a good lawyer and are member of Senate since 1994.

CJP remarked if any party has two members in provincial assembly, it can forge alliance with allied parties. Tell us about proportional representation.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till February 22.