ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has opposed holding the Senate elections by open ballot and said that only the elections of the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister have been opened in the Constitution.

According to details, the Election Commission submitted a reply to the Supreme Court regarding the Senate election through the open ballot, in which it opposed the presidential reference regarding the Senate election.

In reply, the Election Commission said that Senate elections are held under the Constitution. Articles 59, 219, and 224 of the Constitution mention Senate elections. It is clear from Article 226 that the elections of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister will be held by secret ballot.

In reply, the Election Commission also referred to the Indian Constitution and said that there was no mention of the secret ballot in the Indian Constitution. Indian courts relied on the fact that the secret ballot was not mentioned in the Constitution.

The ECP said that the constitution mentions a total of 15 elections, the constitution does not allow open ballot, only the election of the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister is open in the constitution, the priorities of members of the National and Provincial Assemblies can not be expressed.

On the other hand, Jamaat-e-Islami opposed the presidential reference regarding the Senate elections and asked the court to send back the presidential reference instead of replying to it.

Jamaat-e-Islami submitted a written position in the Supreme Court, in which it said that not only the law but also the constitution has to be amended for the open ballot.

The reply said that Article 226 of the Constitution applies to Senate elections and Senate candidates must be honest and trustworthy. A candidate who buys votes cannot be honest and trustworthy. It is up to the members of the Assembly to decide who to vote for.

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