PML-N leader had requested to vote in Lahore
The Election Commission of Pakistan has rejected PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif’s request to cast his vote for the upcoming Senate elections in Lahore.
“Senate vote can only be cast in the National Assembly,” the electoral body said.
Earlier this month, the commission issued production orders for imprisoned members of the national and provincial assemblies. This allows them to be part of the Senate election voting on March 3.
“Detained members will be able to exercise their right to vote as it is a fundamental right of everyone. No one can be prevented from exercising their right to vote,” ECP’s order read.
It granted Shehbaz, PPP’s Khursheed Shah, PML-N’s Khawaja Asif and MNA Ali Wazir permission. All the leaders are in custody.
A controversy surrounding the Senate elections started when on December 15, the PTI government decided to hold the elections in February, instead of March. Following this, a debate was stirred in the cabinet whether the government had the constitutional right to change the election date.
The federal government also decided to hold the Senate election through a show of hands. The decision was made during a meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Following this, a presidential reference on open ballot votes was filed in the Supreme Court. A verdict in the case has, however, not been passed yet.
Senate elections are held every three years and only the commission has the authority to organise them. The process is, however, spread over phases and takes roughly a month to conclude.