President signs ordinance for Senate polls through open ballot

ISLAMABAD, Feb 06 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi Saturday signed an ordinance amending the Election Act 2017 to provide for holding the Senate election through open ballot.
Through Election (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, the president amended sub-section VI of section 122 of the Election Act 2017.

The ordinance, released by the President House, will come into force if the Supreme Court, hearing Reference No 1 of 2021, opined that the matter was not in its purview.

In such a case, the Senate election scheduled in March this year would be held through open ballot.
“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 open and identifiable ballot,” the ordinance says.

Moreover, according to the ordinance, the Election Commission would show the ballot to the political party of it requested for the same after the election.

“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.”

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Following is the text of the ordinance:

AN ORDINANCE
further to amend the Elections Act, 2017

WHEREAS it is expedient further to amend the Elections Act, 2017 (XXXIII of 2017),

AND WHEREAS the Senate and the National Assembly are not in session and the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action:

NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 89 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:—

1.Short title and commencement: – (1) This Ordinance shall be called the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance. 2021.
(2) It shall come into force at once.
(3) It extend to the whole of Pakistan.

2. Amendment of section 81, Act XXXIII of 2017.– In the Elections Act, 2017 (XXXIII of 2017), hereinafter called as the said Act, in section 81, in sub-section (1), for the word “An”, the expression “Subject to section 122, an” shall be substituted.

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3. Amendment of section 122, Act XXXIII of 2017.– In the said Act, in section 122, in sub-section (6), for full stop at the end, a colon shall be substituted and thereafter, the following two provisos shall be added. namely –

“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 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.”

4. 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.