ISLAMABAD: The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz has said that transparency in elections is the strength of democracy.
In a tweet on Sunday, he said opposition’s vociferous on the step to ensure transparency in the Senate elections is beyond comprehension.
He said by opposing open ballot in Senate polls, the opposition parties have clarified that they do not want to end use of money in politics.
Last day, President Arif Alvi signed the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 to pave the way for Senate elections to be held via an “open and identifiable ballot.”
According to the Ordinance, a copy of which has been shared by the president on his Twitter account, changes have been brought to Sections 81, 122 and 185 of the Elections Act, 2017.
The Ordinance will come into effect “at once” and “extend to the whole of Pakistan.”
Amendment of section 81, Act XXXIII of 2017 – “In the Elections Act, 2017 (XXXIII of 2017) in section 81, in sub-section (1), for the word “an”, the expression “subject to section 122, an” shall be substituted.
Amendment of section 122, Act XXXIII of 2017 – “In the said Act, in section 122, in sub-section (6), for the full stop at the end. a colon shall be substituted and thereafter. the following two provisos shall be added: “Provided that in case the Supreme Court of Pakistan gives an opinion in Reference No 1 of 2021 filed under Article 186 of the Constitution that elections for the members of Senate do not fall within the purview of Article 226 of the Constitution, the poll for elections for members of the Senate to be held in March 2021 and thereafter shall be conducted by the Commission through the open and identifiable ballot. “Provided further that after the elections for members of Senate, if the head of the political party requests the Commission to show the ballot cast by any voting member of his party, the Commission shall show the same to the head of the political party or his nominee.”
Amendment of section 185, Act XXXIII of 2017 – “In the said Act, in section 185, for the word “an”, the expression “subject to section 122, an” shall be substituted,” the presidential ordinance added.
According to Section 226 of the Constitution: “All elections under the Constitution, other than those of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, shall be by secret ballot.”