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January 23, 2021

Senate chairman backs open-ballot elections

Top Story

 
January 23, 2021

By our correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has backed holding Senate elections via open ballot in his response to a reference pertaining to the matter filed by the government in the Supreme Court.

In his five-page response to the SC filed through his lawyer Tariq Aziz, Sanjrani said allegations of floor-crossing (changing party loyalties) and rigging were levelled following the 2015 Senate elections after which there was a debate over the polling procedure.

Sanjrani said that it was suggested in the Senate's House Committee that the name of the voter should be written on the back of the ballot paper and in case of a doubt, the party chief should have the power to see the details.

The Senate chairman said that transparent elections were in the larger interest of the nation. He maintained that the Constitution was silent regarding Senate elections, while interpretation of the Constitution was the job of the Supreme Court.

Sanjrani said that all stakeholders agree that the Senate elections should be transparent, and the person who goes against the party policy should face consequences. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Balochistan government’s have also backed the federal government’s opinion of holding open-ballot polls, while Sindh has rejected the idea.