Supreme Court hears more arguments over presidential reference
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani on Friday told the Supreme Court (SC) that an alliance between opposition parties could change composition of the Senate, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan replied that even if that happened, it would have no effect on proportionate representation. “If some political parties want to form an alliance, they must do it openly,” he remarked.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed, is hearing the presidential reference, seeking the court’s opinion on holding Senate elections through the open ballot.
Senator Rabbani argued that there was a difference between horse-trading and forging a political alliance. “The political alliance is mostly secret, while horse-trading can be suspected if somebody wants to become a member of the upper house in his individual capacity,” he said.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that each party should have representation in the Senate according to its numerical strength.
Senator Raza Rabbani said that both houses of the parliament did not get along with each other harmoniously. “Proportionate representation of political parties was in the minds of those who had drafted the constitution,” he said, and added, “We will have to understand their state of mind at the time of drafting the constitution.”
He was of the view that the definition of proportionate representation as was being given by the learned judges was that for an ideal political situation, and that political situation was never ideal.
When CJP Gulzar Ahmed asked as to whether the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had resubmitted its reply in the case, counsel for the ECP said that the commission had submitted the reply similar to the previous one.
Later, the CJP adjourned the hearing till February 22.