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Pakistan

Supreme Court says Senate elections to be held through secret ballot

  • A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed opined that Senate elections would be held under Article 226 of the Constitution through secret balloting.
  • The SC also said that the Election Commission of Pakistan should use the latest technology to ensure fair and transparent elections.
Updated 01 Mar 2021

Announcing its opinion on the presidential reference regarding Senate elections, the Supreme Court (SC) said on Monday that polls for the upper house of parliament will be held through secret ballot.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed announced the decision on the presidential reference which it had reserved on February 25. The 4-1 majority opinion by the bench also said that Senate elections would be held under Article 226 of the Constitution through secret balloting, DAWN reported.

Justice Afridi disagreed with the majority opinion. The SC also said that the Election Commission of Pakistan should use the latest technology to ensure fair and transparent elections. The SC said that all institutions were bound to follow the ECP.

However, the top court also said that the secrecy of the ballot papers was not final.

President Arif Alvi had sought the SC's answer on whether or not the condition of secret ballot under Article 226 of the Constitution applied to the Senate elections. The answer was sought after the federal government decided to hold Senate elections in February and invoke the advisory jurisdiction of the SC on open voting for the polls.