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Election Commission issues code of conduct for Senate polls

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan issued ode of Conduct for Senate Elections under which Senate elections would be held through secret polling under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The ECP has also directed to ensure that ballots would be provided to the Returning Officers under strict secrecy.

Pakistani legislators will vote to elect 48 Senators on Thursday after 4 were elected unopposed from Sindh. The voting for Senate seats of FATA, Islamabad and four provinces would be held by tomorrow.

However, all members of the National and provincial assemblies have been barred from carrying mobile phones or any electronic device that can take a picture and action would be taken against those members who would bring cell phones during polling their votes.

The election commission of Pakistan took the decision in order to protect the sanctity of the secret ballot and to discourage legislators from taking pictures of the ballot-paper to prove which way they have voted.

Pakistan’s Senate elections have always been plagued with horse trading allegations and claims of legislators selling their votes to the highest bidder.

Much debate has taken place regarding whether the elections should be conducted with a show of hands or remain a secret ballot. For the time being the elections will be conducted via a secret ballot under article 266.

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