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Govt prepared to supply ECP ‘technological help’ for Senate elections after SC verdict

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  • Delegation of ministers assures ECP of presidency help.
  • Babar Awan claims SC has allowed ECP to take away secrecy in Senate elections “according to the situation”.
  • Govt delegation met ECP after SC verdict on presidential reference on Senate elections.

The federal government on Monday supplied the Election Fee of Pakistan (ECP) “technological support” to hold out voting within the Senate elections in view of the Supreme Court docket verdict on the presidential reference.

The supply was made by a authorities delegation, comprising federal ministers who met the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and different members of the ECP. The delegation included federal ministers Fawad Chaudhry, Shafqat Mahmood, advisers to PM Shahzad Akbar and Babar Awan. 

“[We told the ECP that] whatever technology [you need] we have it,” stated Federal Minister for Science and Know-how after the assembly. He added that if the ECP makes use of the supplied know-how, then poll papers will probably be printed “within two hours”

“If we can print currency [within record time] then we can also print 1,500 ballot papers,” stated Fawad Chaudhry.

He added that the Supreme Court docket, in its verdict, maintained that votes will probably be identifiable for the ECP however they may stay “secretive” for the political events. He added that this was really helpful by the apex courtroom so the ECP might examine allegations of horse buying and selling.

The minister stated that the delegation, that met the ECP workplace bearers, trusts the institute, including that each one establishments are liable to cooperate with the ECP as per the Structure.

Then again, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aide Babar Awan claimed that the Supreme Court docket has allowed the ECP to take away secrecy within the senate elections “according to the situation”. He added that the ECP can determine after seeing the “ground realities”.

In the meantime, training minister Shafqat Mahmood stated that his social gathering sees the Supreme Court docket’s resolution in its favour, including that the ministers had mentioned the apex courtroom’s resolution in at the moment’s assembly.

Senate polls to be held by means of secret poll, however secrecy not absolute: SC

Earlier at the moment, the Supreme Court docket held, with a 4-1 majority, that polling for Senate elections is held “under the Constitution” and thus can’t be accomplished by means of an open poll.

Nonetheless, the courtroom additionally held that the secrecy of the poll just isn’t “absolute” and may be diluted by sensible concerns, particularly those who relate to the Election Fee of Pakistan (ECP) exercising its mandate to conduct free-and-fair elections which can be devoid of any corrupt practices.

The apex courtroom stated that it’s as much as the ECP to determine to which extent the voting ought to stay secret.

A five-member bigger bench of the apex courtroom — headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justices Mushir Alam, Umar Ata Bandial, Ijazul Ahsan and Yahya Afridi — introduced the reserved opinion in Courtroom No 1 of the Supreme Court docket.

The presidential reference

The reference, filed by the federal government within the Supreme Court docket, had stated that the president has sought the apex courtroom’s opinion on whether or not the situation of holding elections through secret poll referred to in Article 226 of the Structure is relevant just for elections held beneath the Structure — such because the election to the workplace of president, audio system and deputy audio system of the Parliament and provincial assemblies — and “not to other elections, such as the election for the members of Senate” held beneath the Elections Act 2017 enacted to pursuant to Article 222 learn with Entry 41 (1) of the Fourth Schedule to the Structure “which may be held by way of secret or open ballot” as offered for within the Act.

Based on the federal government, the character of the elections and the best way it’s carried out had not been clearly talked about within the Structure.

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