ISLAMABAD: The government wants transparency in electoral process for seeking open ballot in Senate election, Attorney General Khalid Javed argued before the Supreme Court hearing on the presidential reference,
“Seeking open ballot in Senate elections not aimed at maligning politicians,” Attorney General Khalid Javed argued while advancing his case before the apex court bench.
“It is the right of the people to know, to whom their elected member is voting,” Khalid Javed said. “People not voting to a candidate but they vote for a party.”
A five-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed hearing the presidential reference seeking the court’s advice over open ballot in upcoming Senate election.
“If opposition parties don’t want to change the existing electoral procedure, it means they are not intending to halt trading of votes,” Justice Gulzar Ahmed said in his observation.
“It is not against the law if any member votes against the party line,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan said in his remarks. “However, it will be a crime if it proves that a member has sold vote,” Justice Ahsan further said.
AG Khalid Javed said that the government was opined that amendment in the election law was sufficient for the open ballot but there were apprehensions about abrogation of the senate election, ” The court’s opinion has been sought to avoid the legal issues afterwards,” the top state counsel said.
“The 18th Constitutional Amendment changed many thing, why the secret ballot in Senate polls was not changed,” Justice Umar Ata Bandial posed question.
The reference was submitted by the Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan after getting approved by President Dr Arif Alvi under Article 186 of the Constitution. “This is the my lament,” the attorney general said.
“What is the logic behind secrecy in Senate polls,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked. “Why secrecy, if a member wants to vote according to his or her conscience,” the justice further asked.