ECP stops voting on FATA seats over new ordinance

11:56 AM | 5 Mar, 2015
ECP stops voting on FATA seats over new ordinance
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ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) halted for the time being voting process in the National Assembly for four Senate seats of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Samaa TV reported Thursday.

According to TV report, the voting was stopped over issuance of a new presidential ordinance under which MNAs from FATA have been directed to cast only one vote, contrary to previous presidential ordinance of 2002 that allowed four votes to each FATA members.

ECP official says the ordinance creates confusion in the voting process, saying the commission has approached the Federal Law Ministry for an advice on how an election process could be changed since polling schedule has already been issued.

Meanwhile, sources said Secretary ECP has summoned a meeting to discuss the issue of presidential ordinance.

Sources said many of the FATA lawmakers expressed their anger over the new procedure and some refused to cast their votes.

Earlier today, polling begun in National Assembly and all four provincial assemblies for 48 seats of Senate, with 131 candidates in the run.

Polling will continue till 4pm in the assemblies where legislators will elect new senators to replace those who retire on completion of their six-year term.

There are a total of 131 candidates vying from across the country for representation in the Parliament’s Upper House. Four candidates from Sindh have already been elected unopposed.

During the voting process, the MNAs and MPAs will cast their votes through secret balloting process.