Senate Elections: Govt files reference in SC to seek guidance on open ballot

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The Government has filed a reference in the Supreme Court of Pakistan under Article 186 of the Constitution.

President Dr. Arif Alvi granted approval to a reference proposed by Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking the opinion of the Supreme Court about holding the upcoming Senate polls through the open ballot.

The reference has been filed in the top court under Article 186 of the Constitution.

The government has also sought guidance from the Supreme Court if the issue can be decided without amending the constitution and introducing an amendment in section 122 (vi) of the Election Act 2017.

The government had earlier decided to hold the Senate polls through the open ballot to ensure transparency in the election.

It may be recalled that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on December 18th dismissed the government’s consideration of holding early senate elections.

ECP in its verdict said that polls will be held on time. ECP officials stated that the elections would be held on time according to the law.

The ECP has 30 days to conduct the Senate elections and it cannot hold the polls before the time. However, the ECP has the right to conduct the Senate polls in between February 11 to March 11.

The 2021 Pakistani Senate election will be held on or before 6 March 2021.

52 of the 104 Senators will be retiring on 5 March 2021. After the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA seats were abolished and there will be no election on 4 of the 8 seats. The rest of the 4 seats will also not be renewed in 2024.

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