ECP to consult government, legal experts on election declaration by Alvi

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday held a meeting to discuss the decision made by President Arif Alvi to fix April 9 as the date for the elections to the provincial assemblies of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

Alvi’s decision on Monday to hold the elections in the two provinces followed the dissolution of their respective legislatures by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) governments at the behest of former prime minister Imran Khan, ahead of the completion of their constitutionally-mandated five-year terms in October.

In its meeting, members of the ECP decided to consult the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) and legal experts to examine the legality of the president’s move. A meeting with the stakeholders has been scheduled for Wednesday.

The tribunal stressed that it will take decisions in accordance with the Constitution and without any pressure.

As per the law and Constitution, the body is bound to hold polls within 90 days. However, it claimed it is not responsible for setting the date of elections.

According to the statement issued by the presidency, the date for the general elections for the two parliaments was set under Section 57(1) of the Elections Act, 2017. The law stipulates the president shall “announce the date of the general elections after consultation with the [election] commission.”

The commission Tuesday explained that after the date of elections is fixed by a legitimate authority, the commission will be obligated to issue an election schedule and hold elections.

To seek guidance, the AGP has been invited to the meeting on Wednesday, and the names of two legal experts are also being discussed.

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