Federal Govt wants to destroy the pith of the Senate: Raza Rabbani

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Staff Report

KARACHI: Former Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani has said that under the garb of so-called transparency of the vote, the Federal Government wants to destroy the pith of the Senate which is enshrined in Article 59, Constitution, 1973, wherein it states that the Senate Elections will be held on ‘proportional representation’ and a ‘single transferable vote’.

In his statement issued here, Rabbani said that doing away with this principle will also deprive the nationalist and religious parties of being a part of the mainstream of the Federation. As the Federal Government does not enjoy a majority in Parliament to amend the Constitution, therefore, it is trying to hide behind the cloak of the Supreme Court. Article 186 cannot be and is not a substitute to Article 238 and 239 which provide the procedure for an amendment in the Constitution, 1973.

The Reference of the Committee of the Whole in the Presidential Reference is an attempt to mislead the Supreme Court. The Report of the Committee of the Whole, which was unanimously passed by the Senate, and speaks of the constitutional amendment. The Committee of the Whole of the Senate was the first to take cognizance of the question of transparency in Senate Elections, and therefore, after the detailed debate, it suggested the concept of a ‘traceable vote’.

This concept will preserve the essence of the clause (2), Article 59, Constitution, 1973, inasmuch as, that the concept of ‘single transferable vote’ would remain and all shades of political opinion represented in the Provinces would get representation in the House of the Federation thus becoming a part of the Federation mainstream. The denial of representation to the nationalist and religious parties will not only alter the face of the Constitution but will also lend to further political polarization in the Federation.

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