Hours after Supreme Court announced its opinion on presidential reference seeking holding of Senate polls through open ballot, both government and opposition claimed victory over the apex court’s verdict. Addressing a press conference, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz termed the apex court’s opinion on Senate polls as historic, adding that now the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is responsible to take all necessary measures to ensure transparency in the upcoming election. He said the ECP may use technology to end corrupt practices from electoral process to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. He said people had seen in the past that how political loyalties were traded during Senate election. The government, he said, had taken all possible measures to prevent sale and purchase of votes during upcoming senate election. Shibli Faraz said Senate is a highly respectable institution and it is necessary for upholding its sanctity to elect honest, upright and competent candidates who can serve masses irrespective of their personal interests. “There is a conflict between two ideologies. The opposition’s ideology is to run the country through an obsolete corrupt system based on personal politics and gains. Whereas, the PTI strongly believes in strengthening of national institutions, rule of law and merit,” he said. Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said that the SC’s decision “supports our stance and moves it forward”. He said the SC’s decision “has shown a path” to how bad practices in the Senate elections could be prevented. He said it was “clearly written” that it was the duty of the ECP to conduct an election which was free of corrupt practices. Babar Awan, meanwhile, said that the SC referred to a previous decision of the top court in 1967 which allowed for “secrecy to be lifted considering the present circumstances, this is clearly written”. “This is a decisive moment in Pakistan’s history for elections to be conducted fairly”. Fawad Chaudhry said that the SC’s advice was “clear” that voters and their votes should be identifiable. “This is the principle on which the prime minister and the cabinet sent this reference to the SC,” said the federal minister. Meanwhile, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter, saying the SC’s opinion once again proved that “the constitution is far above the tricks of vote thieves, malicious references and conspiratorial ordinances”. She said that now “alarms of technology are being raised” but warned that “RTS and Daska-fog technologies” wouldn’t work anymore. “Why are you afraid of the power of the vote?” Sindh government’s spokesperson Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that the SC opinion agreed with the “principled stance of the PPP, Sindh government, different opposition parties and Pakistan’s various lawyer organisations”. “What was that stance? it was that Senate polls must be held in accordance with the Constitution,” said Wahab, adding that Article 226 had already decided that any election in accordance with the Constitution would be through the secret ballot. “Our stance was victorious because it was in accordance with the Constitution and the PTI and federal government lost,” said Wahab, adding that the federal government had repeatedly claimed that Senate elections aren’t held in accordance with the Constitution and they shouldn’t be held through secret balloting.