The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decided against attending the meeting called by President Arif Alvi to discuss the dates for holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the ECP chaired by Chief Election Commissioner, Sikandar Sultan Raja, to decide whether to accept or reject the invitation made by Presidency.
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The Election Commission says that the Election Commission has responded to the President of Pakistan on 19th February. The Commission still has the same position as on February 19. The Election Commission says that the matter of the elections is pending in various judicial forums. Cannot be part of the process.
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 is under process at various judicial courts. It said a final decision in this regard will be taken at the meeting today.
The letter highlighted, “It is clarified that the Constitution does not empower the ECP to appoint a poll date in case of the dissolution of a provincial assembly by the governor or due to afflux of time as provided in Article 112(1) of the Constitution”.
Remember that on 17 February President Dr. Arif Alvi summoned Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja for an urgent meeting on 20th February 2023 (Monday) regarding the announcement of the date for fresh general elections.
According to an official statement issued by the President’s Office, the meeting will focus on the consultation on the terms of Section 57(1) of the Elections Act, 2017, which provides that the president shall “announce the date or dates of the general elections after consultation with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).”
In his letter to the CEC, the president expressed his displeasure with the ECP’s apparent “indifference” and inaction to the matter, adding that his letter dated 8 February 2023 had received no response.
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