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No open ballot without constitutional amendment: ECP’s reply in SC

SC delists three cases to make time for presidential reference

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 7 months ago
Posted: Feb 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 7 months ago

Photo: Online

A constitutional amendment is required for Senate elections to be held with identifiable ballot papers, the Election Commission of Pakistan told the Supreme Court Tuesday.

The SC heard the presidential reference today, and sought ECP’s advice on holding Senate elections by open ballot instead of secret ballot.

The chief election commissioner said that the Constitution requires secret balloting in order to allow each parliamentarian to vote his or her conscience and said that the voting process must be confidential .

Related: Govt to pass ordinance to change Senate election voting

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said that the process has to be confidential as laid down in the Constitution. Votes cannot be kept secret after they are cast, he said.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the ECP has done nothing to eradicate corruption in the electoral process. The bench declared the ECP’s report, that it submitted today, unsatisfactory. The court had asked the ECP to submit a report on rules and regulations in place to ensure transparency in the elections.

The hearing has been adjourned until Wednesday.

Opposition parties have opposed the move to hold the election through open ballot. PPP’s Raza Rabbani has called it “malicious”, while the PTI claimed it is to ensure votes are not bought and sold.

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