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Traceable ballot to end vote trading in Senate, Gill on SC’s ruling

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill has said that the Supreme Court’s ruling will end horse-trading in Senate, ARY News reported on Monday.

Shahbaz Gill, while talking exclusively to ARY News, said that Prime Minister Imran Khan adopted a clear stance against those involved in vote trading in Senate and the latest ruling of the top court will end the vote corruption in the Upper House.

He said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been directed to hold transparent Senate elections and directed to make ballot papers traceable through bar code or serial number.

Read: SC endorsed govt’s stance for transparent Senate polls: attorney general

The traceable ballot papers will end vote-trading through using the technology to spot those involved in corrupt practices, said Shahbaz Gill. The top court orders could not be violated and it is now the duty of the election commission to add serial numbers in the ballot papers, added the PM’s aide on political communication.

He termed the Supreme Court’s ruling as the victory of PM Imran Khan and said that traceable ballot will pave the way to open a probe against the persons involved in vote corruption.

In a Twitter message, Shahbaz Gill said that Allah Almighty has given another victory to Imran Khan against the mafia. He added that PM Khan had earlier introduced neutral umpires in cricket and led a historical sit-in against vote-rigging.

The premier had ousted the persons involved in Senate vote trading and fought a war against horse-trading in Senate in the court and the parliament for the first time in Pakistan.

Read: SC directed ECP to ensure transparency in Senate polls: Fawad

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court ruled that the forthcoming Senate elections are to be held through secret ballot under Article 226 of the country’s Constitution.

The apex court’s 4:1 majority decision, however, held that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is empowered to take all measures, including the use of the latest technology, to hold free and fair elections and curb corrupt practices under Article 218 of the Constitution.

A five-judge larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi pronounced the reserved opinion.

Justice Afridi dissented from the majority opinion.

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