Will wholeheartedly accept SC’s verdict on Senate polls: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday that the government will open-heartedly accept any decision of the Supreme Court in connection with the proposed open voting in Senate elections.

On Saturday, President Dr Arif Alvi signed off the Election Amendment Ordinance 2021, under which the upcoming Senate elections can be held through open balloting. The government has also sought the opinion of the Supreme Court, asking whether the polls can be held without a constitutional amendment.

“The ordinance for the Senate elections is not aimed at giving anyone any favour, but to bring transparency in the electoral process,” Qureshi said while addressing media persons in Multan this afternoon.

The minister advised the opposition to refrain from creating a chaotic situation in the country. “All of Pakistan knows about the buying and selling [of votes] in the Senate,” he said, adding that “this bidding in the upper house of the parliament should stop.”

Unfortunately, he added, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) want to buy the loyalties of the people. “We ask the PPP and PML-N as to why they want to evade the situation today when they had earlier supported open balloting under the Charter of Democracy.”

The opposition parties, mainly led by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) have been offering a stern opposition to open Senate voting, terming it an attempt by the government to prevent its own lawmakers from changing loyalties.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)