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Senate elections will be held through secret vote: SC

Senate elections will be held through secret vote: SC
March 1, 2021

ISLAMABAD (92 News) - The last day of campaign for Senate elections as the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday opined that the polling for the Senate elections will be held through a secret ballot.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court — headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising justices Mushir Alam, Umar Ata Bandial, Ijazul Ahsan and Yahya Afridi — announced the reserved opinion in the open court with 4-1 majority. The SC opined that the polling for the Senate elections cannot be held through an open ballot.

While giving its opinion on the presidential reference, the top court said that the Senate elections will be held only by secret ballot. "Senate elections will be held in accordance with the Constitution and the law," it added.

"The Election Commission should take steps for transparent elections. All institutions should support the Election Commission. The Election Commission can use technology to prevent corruption in the electoral process," the apex court said.

The presidential reference

The reference, filed by the government in the Supreme Court, says that the president has sought the apex court's opinion on whether the condition of holding a secret ballot referred to in Article 226 of the Constitution is applicable only for the elections held under the Constitution, such as the election to the office of president, speakers and deputy speakers of the Parliament and provincial assemblies and "not to other elections, such as the election for the members of Senate" held under the Elections Act 2017 enacted to pursuant to Article 222 read with Entry 41 (1) of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution "which may be held by way of secret or open ballot" as provided for in the Act.

According to the government, the nature of the elections and the way it is conducted has not been clearly mentioned in the Constitution.