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SC says Senate elections to be held through secret ballot

The Supreme Court on Monday announced its opinion on the presidential reference regarding Senate elections, saying that polls for the upper house of parliament will be held through secret ballot, according to Article 226 of the Constitution.

The 4-1 majority opinion was announced by a five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and including Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi.

Justice Afridi disagreed with the majority opinion.

Attorney General Khalid Jawed, while reacting to the apex court’s opinion on presidential reference on open Senate vote, SC’s opinion that secrecy of vote is not absolute is very important and now it depends on the ECP whether it will go with serial number or barcode on the ballot papers.

PMLN spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that opinion of Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on presidential reference on open Senate vote is not a victory or defeat for anyone.

While reacting to apex court’s opinion, she said that it is responsibility of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to make polls transparent and it is job of the parliament to amend constitution.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Monday has said the Supreme Court’s opinion on presidential reference is historic.

He said the court has also ruled that secrecy of ballot is not permanent.

The information minister asked the ECP to take requisite steps for ensuring transparency in the Senate elections in the light of the SC decision. 

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