Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday announced to move Supreme Court (SC) against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decision to postpone general elections in Punjab.
While holding a press conference in Lahore, PTI Secretary-General Asad Umar announced that the party will challenge the ECP’s decision to postpone the date for general elections in Punjab from 30th April to 8th October 2023.
Also Read: ECP announces Election schedule for Punjab
The former federal minister Asad Umar said that the ECP continuously violated the Constitution by postponing the elections, noting that the ECP’s decision was in conflict with the Supreme Court’s orders.
“As per the orders of Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar high courts, the ECP cannot give dates for polls,” he said, questioning under which constitutional provision the commission had changed the date.
Asad Umar further alleged that the election commission has fulfilled the ruling coalition’s wish to delay the elections. “The ECP cannot give a date for election after President Dr. Arif Alvi announced it,” he added.
Asad Umar said that the PTI would also file a contempt petition against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Haji Ghulam Ali for ‘committing Article 6’.
He expressed ‘full confidence’ in Supreme Court, hoping that the election will be held on the same day as it was announced by President Dr Arif Alvi. “We will not let anyone to violate the constitution under any circumstances”, he added.
Remember that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday announced to delay of the Punjab by-Polls that were scheduled to be held on 30th April 2023.
According to details, the Election Commission issued the Punjab Polls Program notification issued on 8th March and decided to postpone the Punjab election and announced 8th October 2023 as the new date for elections in Punjab.
The ECP spokesman said that President Dr. Arif Alvi has also been informed about the postponement of elections in Punjab, adding that the new election schedule will release soon.
The spokesperson added that the elections were postponed under Article 218(3) and Sections 58 and 8C of the Election Act, 2017.
Earlier this month on 8th March ECP announced the election schedule for the General election in Punjab.
The election commission announced that “Polling for the election of Punjab provincial assembly will be held on 30th April 2023.” The announcement from ECP comes after President Dr. Arif Alvi announced 30th April as the date for elections in Punjab.
“President Dr. Arif Alvi has announced to hold general elections of Punjab Assembly on 30th April, Sunday,” tweeted the President’s office.
“The decision was made by the president after considering the dates proposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan,” it added.
ECP proposed dates for the election in Punjab after the Supreme Court directs ECP to issue the Election dates for Punjab and KPK Assembly.
Punjab and KP assemblies were dissolved on 14th January and 18th January respectively, and under the law, the elections were to be held within 90 days after their dissolution.
However, after the governors’ refusal to fix a date for polls, after which the Supreme Court took the Suo motu of matter and directed the president to announce the election date in consultation with the Election commission.
Supreme Court Suo Motu
The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan in its verdict ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within 90 days.
The supreme court verdict stated that the Election Commission of Pakistan failed in discharging its role in the election. The announcement of the election date in KP is the responsibility of the provincial governor, while the president has the authority as per law and constitution to fix the election date in Punjab.
The verdict said the announcement of the election in KP by the president was ‘not right’, while he enjoys the right to announce the election date in Punjab, as the provincial assembly was dissolved after 48 hours as the government refused to agree on CM’s advise.
The verdict further stated a consultation to fix the date of elections in Punjab, if they are not possible on 9th April, the date announced by the president. “Article 254 of the constitution will be enforced if the elections are not held within the stipulated time,” the verdict said.