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Friday, May 17, 2024

To delay elections another resolution submitted in Senate

The document underscored the resultant atmosphere of fear and insecurity across the nation, pointing out the circulation of threatening pamphlets sent to candidates' homes and election officers.

On Friday a new resolution was presented to the Senate Secretariat, proposing a three-month deferment of the polls. Independent Senator Hidayatullah submitted the resolution, noting an upswing in attacks targeting candidates, prompting the upper house of Parliament to take action.

Citing a surge in terrorist and armed attacks, particularly in Waziristan, Bajaur, Swabi, and Turbat, the resolution emphasized the impact, including the injury of an elderly politician and the death of a candidate. The document underscored the resultant atmosphere of fear and insecurity across the nation, pointing out the circulation of threatening pamphlets sent to candidates’ homes and election officers.

Acknowledging that conducting general elections is a constitutional duty, the resolution invoked the Constitution’s emphasis on the necessity for free and fair elections, while also ensuring the fundamental right to protect lives and property, as outlined in Article 9 (right to security of person).

The resolution urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Supreme Court to postpone the general elections by three months due to the prevailing security challenges. It proposed that during this period, the government should concentrate on establishing an environment that guarantees a level playing field for all political parties and candidates.

 Resolution on January 5 

It’s noteworthy that earlier in the month, the Upper House of Parliament adopted a resolution, initiated by independent Senator Dilawar Khan, during a session attended by only 15 lawmakers. This earlier resolution sought a delay in polls, citing extreme weather in hilly areas and a deteriorating security situation.

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Underlining the constitutional right to vote for every citizen, the resolution emphasized the Election Commission’s obligation to conduct free and fair elections, ensuring inclusivity and the participation of all regional constituents.

Furthermore, it highlighted the climatic challenges faced in colder regions during January and February, particularly in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the vote turnout remains notably high under moderate weather conditions.

The resolution also took note of concerns expressed by various political parties regarding difficulties in ensuring participation in cold areas during the electoral process.