In a major development, President Dr Arif Alvi has announced to hold polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab on April 9.
According to a press release issued by the President’s Secretariat’s Press Wing, the announcement of the election date was made under Section 57 (1) of the Elections Act, 2017. The President has asked the CEC to issue the election program under Section 57(2) of the same Act.
The President said he was “under oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” under its Article 42 (oath of president), he defended his announcement by adding that there was “no impediment in invoking the power and authority vested in him” as there was “no restraining order from any of the judicial fora”.
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The decision comes amid a delay from the Election Commission of Pakistan over the announcement of the election date.
صدر مملکت ڈاکٹر عارف علوی نے پنجاب اور خیبر پختونخواہ میں انتخابات کی تاریخ دے دی
صدر مملکت نے الیکشن ایکٹ 2017 ء کے سیکشن 57 ایک کے تحت 9 اپریل بروز اتوار پنجاب اور خیبر پختونخواہ کی صوبائی اسمبلیوں کیلئے انتخابات کا اعلان کردیاhttps://t.co/Gr3iBpm8L2
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) February 20, 2023
The Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday decided not to attend the meeting summoned by President Arif Alvi to discuss the dates for holding elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
According to ECP spokesperson, the decision was taken in a consultative meeting of the ECP chaired by Chief Election Commissioner, Sikandar Sultan Raja.
— Election Commission of Pakistan (OFFICIAL) (@ECP_Pakistan) February 20, 2023
In a letter written to the President Secretariat, the election commission said it may not be able to enter into a process of consultation with the Presidency, as the matter was subjudice at various judicial fora.
President Alvi summoned the chief election commissioner for an “urgent meeting” on February 20 (Monday) to hold consultations on the election date.
The Punjab and KP assemblies were dissolved on Jan 18 and Jan 14, respectively, after the PTI chief had announced that his governments in the two provinces would dissolve their assemblies to pave the way for fresh elections. Snap elections have long been a demand of the PTI since ex-premier Imran Khan was ousted in a vote of no-confidence.
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