AGP advocates for open voting 

Top government lawyer cites Supreme Court verdict on MQM plea for LG polls

By: News Desk      Published: 11:07 PM, 15 Dec, 2020
AGP advocates for open voting 

Citing a Supreme Court verdict, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan said on Tuesday that the lawmakers were empowered to conduct open voting.  

According to the SC verdict in MQM plea against Sindh government over local bodies election, open voting can be held, the AGP argued adding that the top court would be approached to seek guidelines on the matter of early elections in the Senate.

Since the three-judge bench that passed four-page short order retired, the matter needs explanation, he said. The section 122 (6) of the Election Act 2017 provides for the election to the Senate by secret ballot. Article 226 says that all elections under constitution other than those of the prime minister and chief ministers shall be held by secret ballot.

In view of Article 226 of the constitution, it has been assumed that the election for Senate is required to be carried out through secret ballot unless the constitution is amended to hold it by another method. AGP Khalid pointed to another legal interpretation under which polls for Senate are not considered elections in the constitution.

He was of the view that if section 122 (6) of the Election Act 2017 is amended through an ordinance, the Senate polls can be held through open method instead of secret ballot.