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Presidential reference in SC: Sindh govt opposes Senate elections through open ballot

KARACHI: In an expected move, the Sindh government has opposed any changes to the electoral process for the Senate elections aimed at allowing voting through an open ballot, ARY NEWS reported.

The Sindh government will submit its response to a presidential reference before the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the next week.

The provincial government said that the open ballot was against the constitution and freedom of expression. The constitution is clear on the Senate elections, the government said while giving a reference to articles 226 and 63 A of the constitution.

Confirming the report, Spokesman for the Sindh government Murtaza Wahab said that article 226 clearly states the procedure for the Senate elections.

“Suggestion for the open ballot is against the constitution and the Sindh government will clear its stance before the Supreme Court with all constitutional references,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) earlier in the day also opposed the presidential reference seeking the opinion of the Supreme Court about holding Senate elections with an open ballot.

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In its reply submitted with the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the ECP has rejected the possibility of holding Senate polls through the open ballot and said that the 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.”



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