Election Commission not to use technology for voting in Senate polls

Says not enough time to prepare for technology use: Elections will be held via old secret ballot mechanism: Committee formed to prepare report for tech use

By: News Desk
Published: 11:37 AM, 2 Mar, 2021
Election Commission not to use technology for voting in Senate polls
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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday decided to conduct Senate elections in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan through the old mechanism – secret ballotting, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

In a meeting held in Islamabad, the ECP, however, maintained that they are trying to develop a mechanism to ensure that the voting process should be free and fair.

The Election Commission also decided not to use the technology as advised by the Supreme Court due to shortage of time – the voting for Senate elections will be held on March 3, Wednesday (tomorrow).

The Election Commission also vowed to follow the Supreme Court’s opinion regarding the holding of Senate elections in letter and spirit.

The ECP held its meeting on Monday but extended it to Tuesday after the Commission could not decide about the mechanism for using technology in the Senate elections in line with the instructions of the Supreme Court. 

On Tuesday, the ECP decided to constitute a three-member committee under the head of ECP Special Secretary. The committee will prepare a report in four weeks regarding the use of technology in the Senate elections.

During disbursing its mandate, the committee can also seek assistance from Nadra, FIA, IT Ministry. It can also acquire help from professions and technical institutions, the ECP added.

The Supreme Court Monday ruled that the upcoming Senate elections will be held through the secret ballot as per the constitution under Article 226.

The SC decision held the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is empowered to take all measures to hold free and fair elections and curb corrupt practices under Article 218 of the Constitution.

The apex court further observed that the secrecy is not “absolute”.

The SC has directed the ECP to use technology to stop the corrupt practices in the elections and directed all the institutions to help the ECP in this cause of holding a transparent election.

Printing of ballot papers will begin once the ECP finalises the design of the ballot paper. The ECP will print 2,600 ballot papers for the Senate election, which is just hours away and every party is trying to win the support of the maximum number of voters.