The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has said that an amendment to the constitution would be required to change the secret ballot to an open ballot system.
The observation is made in the ECP’s written reply to the Supreme Court in a presidential reference filed seeking the court’s opinion on the conduct of the Senate elections.
The ECP said that the Senate elections also come under the same constitution as the Prime Minister and President elections.
The Election Commission said, “A constitutional amendment will be needed to end the secret ballot.
The reply on behalf of the ECP Secretary was filed in the court by Advocate Shahjeel Shehryar Swati and is spread over 12 pages.
Sindh opposes change in procedure
The Sindh government, meanwhile, has recommended a “handshake” approach and opposed any change in the way Senate elections are conducted.
Murtaza Wahab, Sindh chief minister’s legal adviser, confirmed that the provincial government was against open voting.
He said that Sindh government’s reply in the reference would be entered next week.
The provincial government maintains that the open referendum is “unconstitutional and in violation of freedom of expression.”
Wahab said the constitution on Senate elections was “clear”. He said that in response to the Sindh government, Articles 226 and 63-A of the Constitution have also been cited.
He said that Article 226 clearly sets out the process of holding Senate elections.
A Sindh government spokesman said the open referendum was against the “spirit” of the constitution.
“In our response, we will provide strong justification against this practice with reference to the constitution,” Wahab said.
The difference between open and secret ballot
On Thursday, the five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Bandial, asked what. There is a difference between open and secret ballot.
Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan said the process was the same for most.
“The only difference is that in an open referendum, the voter’s name is written on the back of the ballot paper. The purpose is to find out which member voted for whom,” he explained.
The court adjourned the case till Monday.
The reference filed by the government states that the President has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court on whether the secret ballot referred to in Article 226 of the Constitution applies only to elections held under the Constitution. As is the case with elections. The Office of the President, Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the Parliament and Provincial Assemblies and the Election Act 2017 under the Election Act 2017 under “Under Election Act 2017” “Other Elections Like No Election for Members of the Senate” 1) Read with. The Fourth Schedule to the Constitution “which may be held by secret or open referendum” as provided in the Act.
According to the government, the nature of the election and the procedure for holding it are not clearly mentioned in the constitution.
The government has said that the election for the Senate is conducted in accordance with the Election Act of 2017 and asked whether it is possible to propose an open referendum in the upper house of parliament.