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Pakistan

Presidential reference: ECP opposes Senate polls through open ballot

  • “Pakistan’s Constitution of 1973 does not allow open ballot elections for Senate,” says ECP.
  • It said that Senate elections would be held as per the constitution of 1973.
16 Jan 2021

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has opposed that presidential reference seeking opinion of the Supreme Court about holding Senate elections via open ballot.

As per details, in its reply to Supreme Court, the commission has rejected the possibility of holding the upcoming polls of the upper house via open ballot.

It said that Senate elections would be held as per the constitution of 1973.

Senate polls are defined in article 59, 219 and 224 of the constitution, the ECP reply read.

Furthermore, as per article 226 all elections under the Constitution, other than those of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, shall be by secret ballot.

“Pakistan’s Constitution of 1973 does not allow open ballot elections for Senate.”

The commission also gave a reference of the Indian constitution in its reply.

It is pertinent to mention here that the federal government has moved Supreme Court to seek its opinion over holding Senate elections through open ballot.

A five-judge larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising of Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi is currently hearing the presidential reference.

Attorney General had argued that in this matter an amendment in the constitution not required it needs interpretation of the constitution and the supreme court could interpret the constitution.