KP, Punjab back Centre’s call to hold open ballot Senate elections

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Staff Reporter

Lahore/ Peshawar

The Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments have supported the Centre’s call to hold the Senate elections through an open ballot, it emerged on Saturday.
The provincial governments have submitted their response to the Supreme Court in the presidential reference case.
The presidential reference was submitted by the Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan after obtaining President Dr Arif Alvi’s approval under Article 186 of the Constitution last week.
The KP government, in its response to the apex court, said that in the past, the secret balloting method had been used against the spirit of elections.
KP demanded that the court allow the Parliament and the government to amend the Election Act 2017 — the law that must be amended to hold Senate elections by open ballot.
Transparent elections are the basis of democracy while voting against one’s party is dishonesty. In the past, allegations of corruption have been leveled against the Senate elections, KP maintained.
Meanwhile, Punjab said that lawmakers move against the party policy for their personal benefits. Punjab said that the members who oppose the party policy can resign and that it was better to resign than selling their votes.
On January 4, the apex court issued notices to the federal and provincial advocate generals, the NA speaker and speakers of the provincial assemblies and the Election Commission of Pakistan in a hearing on the presidential reference for holding the Senate elections by open ballot. A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Yahyah Afridi and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the reference.

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