President Alvi signs Senate open balloting ordinance into law

It allows ECP to show ballots cast by lawmakers to party heads
President Arif Alvi promulgated Friday an ordinance aimed at conducting Senate elections through “open” and “identifiable” balloting, according to Information Minister Shibli Faraz. According to the ordinance, the open balloting is subjected to the Supreme Court’s approval under Article 186 of the Constitution. On December 23, 2020, the government sought the Supreme Court's opinion whether the condition of secret ballot under Article 226 of the Constitution applies to the Senate elections or not. A five-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has been hearing the presidential reference. The ordinance, called the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, allows the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to show the ballot cast by any lawmaker to the heads of the party on their requests. The ECP has said it will announce the schedule for the Senate elections on February 11.



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