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ECP opposes identifiable ballot papers in Senate polls as SC hears presidential reference

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Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) opposes identifiable ballots in the Senate election because the Supreme Court heard the president’s reference on public voting on Tuesday.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja appeared in the Supreme Court and insisted that the identity of voters cannot be revealed because of the need for constitutional amendments that can identify votes.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, heading the five-member bench, said in his remarks that the apex court is not directing to change any law, and inquired that whether the ECP has ensured people to conduct transparent elections.

The CJP said, “All leaders are leveling allegations of corruption in the Senate elections. What is the ECP doing if it knows everything? The election commission says it will look into the matter after the polls but horse-trading is done before that. What steps has the ECP taken to stop this illicit activity?”

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the SC is not ordering to change the process of secret balloting, but the ECP should solve the matter itself if a complaint is lodged.

When Sikandar Sultan Raja apprised the court of the meeting that has been summoned to analyze the leaked video concerning horse-trading, Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked that whether the ECP has come to know about the video today, and whether it has disqualified any Senator.

Judge Umar Ata Bandial said: “Can the European Communist Party (ECP) swear an oath to candidates not to buy votes? Has the ECP notified the bribery? Does the candidate have the opportunity to complain to each other? “

The Supreme Court pointed out that the election commission cannot remain silent. It is independent and the report should be resubmitted after analyzing all aspects. The court adjourned the hearing until Wednesday and declared that the ECP report was not satisfactory.

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