Govt to move SC over Senate polls this week

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Observer Report

Islamabad

The state’s top law officer has said the federal government is likely to file a presidential reference in the Supreme Court, seeking guidance about holding the upcoming Senate polls through open ballot’s rather than secret votes.
“The reference is being prepared. It is likely to be filed under Article 186 of the Constitution this week,” Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan said while talking to the media on Monday.
The AGP clarified that the government has sought the SC’s opinion over open ballot only and not regarding show of hand method. “We will go for the interpretation of Article 226 of the Constitution.” Article 226 says all elections under the Constitution other than those of the prime minister and chief ministers shall be held through secret ballot.
The AGP said there is nothing about the timing of the Senate elections in reference. “The idea of introducing open ballot is to promote transparency and to curb use of money in Senate polls,” he added.
The legal experts said composition of the bench will be significant to decide the presidential reference. Generally, the chief justice of Pakistan constitutes a larger bench to give opinion over questions raised in the reference.

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