Senate Elections: ECP to hold meeting on printing of ballot papers

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

01st Mar, 2021. 11:12 am
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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday (today) will hold an important meeting regarding the printing of ballot papers ahead of Senate Elections.

According to the details, the 2021 Pakistani Senate election will be held on 3 March 2021. In this regard ECP will hold an important meeting regarding the printing of ballot papers.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja will preside the meeting. The top electoral body in its statement also said that Election Commission will respect the opinion of the Supreme Court to hold the elections through secret voting.

It is worth mentioning here that the Supreme Court (SC) today announced that Senate elections would be held under Article 226 of the Constitution through secret balloting.

However, SC in its opinion, also stated that the Election Commission of Pakistan was empowered to take all measures to curb corrupt practices under Article 218 (3). The decision was taken with a 4-1 majority.

“SC also said that secrecy is not absolute,” the decision stated. Top court bench member Justice Yahya Afridi has dissented with the majority opinion.

A five-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed conducted 19 hearings on a presidential reference.

The federal government through Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan filed the presidential reference under Article 186 of the Constitution, seeking opinion of the apex court as to whether the Senate elections are held under the Constitution (Article 226) or under the law (Election Act 2017).

Senate elections take place in accordance with Article 59 of the Constitution. Each of the four provincial assemblies shall elect in the next Senate election twenty three members from their respective provinces that include fourteen on general seats, four on seats reserved for technocrats including Ulema, four on seats reserved for women and one on seat reserved for non-Muslims. Four members i.e. two on general seats, one technocrat including Aalim and one woman are elected from the Federal Capital whereas eight members are elected from the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) in such manner as the President may, by order prescribe.

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