ISLAMABAD–National Assembly members from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) protested over an overnight presidential ordinance issued to change voting process for four Senate seats of country’s tribal areas.
A presidential ordinance was issued on in wee hours of Thursday morning under which MNAs from FATA will be entitled to cast only one vote. The previous presidential ordinance of 2002, that allowed four votes to each FATA members, has been withdrawn.
The new procedure drew anger from FATA lawmakers and created confusion when voting begun in the National Assembly for 48 Senate seats, including four for FATA.
It prompted Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to stop the voting process on the four seats temporarily as many of the FATA lawmakers refused to cast their votes. Meanwhile, the MNAs from FATA came out of the assembly, carrying placards in the hands inscribed with slogans against the new ordinance.
“Tribal people reject the attempt of horse trading in Senate. We refuse this ordinance that was issued overnight unlawfully … This is a joke with people of FATA,” said PPP leader from FATA, Syed Akhunzada Chattan, while speaking to media persons outside the Parliament House.
Expressing utmost annoyance, he claimed that ruling PML-N got the ordinance issued to get their senators elected from FATA. He demanded of the ECP to take notice of the ordinance. Earlier, polling began in National Assembly and all four provincial assemblies for 48 seats of Senate, with 131 candidates in the run.