Monday September 25, 2023

Election of PM, CMs through show of hands

July 28, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The election of the prime minister and chief ministers will be held through show of hands.

Article 226 says all elections under the Constitution, other than those of the prime minister and the chief minister, shall be by secret ballot.

The defectors going against the parties on whose tickets they were elected will be easily identifiable during the show of hands voting as they have to stand up and be counted on the floor in the concerned legislatures in full public view. Such deserters will be hit by the defection clause of the Constitution that causes disqualification. It clearly says that any member of a party, who will vote against its decision in the election of the prime minister and chief minister, will be unseated.

Article 63A says if a member of a parliamentary party composed of a single political party in a House [national and provincial assemblies and Senate] resigns from its membership or joins another parliamentary party; or votes or abstains from voting contrary to any direction issued by the parliamentary party to which he belongs, in relation to election of the prime minister or the chief minister; or a vote of confidence or a vote of no-confidence; or a Money Bill or a Constitution (Amendment) Bill, he may be declared in writing by the party head to have defected from the political party, and the party head may forward a copy of the declaration to the Presiding Officer [speaker or chairman] and the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and shall similarly forward a copy of it to the member concerned. However, before making the declaration, the party head shall provide such member with an opportunity to show cause as to why such declaration may not be made against him. The party head means any person, by whatever name called and declared as such by the party.

A member of a House shall be deemed to be a member of a parliamentary party if he, having been elected as a candidate or nominee of a political party which constitutes the parliamentary party in the House or, having been elected otherwise than as a candidate or nominee of a political party, has become a member of such parliamentary party after such election by means of a declaration in writing.

Upon receipt of such declaration, the Presiding Officer of the House shall within two days refer, and in case he fails to do so it shall be deemed that he has referred, the declaration to the Chief Election Commissioner who shall lay the declaration before the Election Commission for its decision thereon confirming the declaration or otherwise within thirty days of its receipt by the CEC.

Where the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) confirms the declaration, the member shall cease to be a member of the House and his seat shall become vacant.

Any party aggrieved by the decision of the ECP may, within thirty days, prefer an appeal to the Supreme Court which shall decide the matter within ninety days from the date of the filing of the appeal.

Meanwhile, the independent candidates, who won, are required to decide to align with any political party or maintain their present status within three days. Under article 50, the total number of general seats won by a political party shall include the independent returned candidate or candidates who may duly join it within three days of the publication in the official Gazette of the names of the successful contestants.