President Alvi signs ordinance for open balloting in Senate polls

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Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): President Dr Arif Alvi has signed the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 under which upcoming Senate elections can be held through open balloting.

The Ordinance will come into effect “at once” and “extend to the whole of Pakistan”.

The amendment has been introduced in section 33, 86 and 122 of the Election Act 2017.

Earlier this week, the government tabled a bill in parliament to legislate on the matter to ensure transparency in the electoral process, but the efforts went unsuccessful due to a protest in the National Assembly.

The Opposition parties have accused the government of tabling the bill because it fears that the PTI lawmakers will not vote for it.

It is pertinent to mention, a presidential reference is pending in the Supreme Court to seek the apex court’s opinion whether the Senate elections could be held through open ballot without any constitutional amendment.