ISLAMABAD – Senate Chair Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani has started consultations with relevant stakeholders to provide the Supreme Council’s response to the Supreme Court regarding the president’s referral seeking an ‘open ballot’ opinion for the Senate election.
Attorney General (AG) Khalid Jawed Khan on Wednesday asked the Senate Chair in the final assembly to notify him of the government’s stance on calling the upcoming Senate elections by hand.
The AG explained to the chairperson about a presidential reference sent to the Supreme Court to change election procedures for the Upper House, said a statement issued by the Senate Secretariat.
Sanjrani was also informed about the provisions in the 2017 Constitution and Elections regarding the voting procedure for the Senate election.
During the meeting, the Senate Chairperson also informed the Attorney General about his previous meeting with National Assembly Chairman Asad Qaiser about this matter.
The top court is faced with the issue of maintaining a reference for a president seeking an opinion on an “open vote” for the Senate election.
In December last year, President Dr Arif Alvi, at the suggestion of Prime Minister Imran Khan, had asked from the court whether the conditions for secret voting under Article 226 of the Constitution apply to Senate elections or not. In that reference, he has sought whether Article 122 (6) of the 2017 Election Law can be amended, without changing the Constitution, to hold a Senate vote on an open vote and not a secret ballot.
In the last session, the SC has issued a notification to the advocate generals from the four provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), NA Chairperson, Senate Chairperson and set the next hearing for January 11th.
In mid-December last year, PM Imran Khan’s government has decided to hold Senate elections by raising its hand to bring transparency, and prevent a race in this election.
Elections for the 52 Senate seats will be held as half the members of the 104 assembly will retire on March 11.