Rana Sana preempts SC verdict on elections postponement

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday said that if the Supreme Court does not make a prudent decision regarding the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) postponing polls in Punjab, then the economic and political stability of the country will be impacted.

In a series of tweets, the minister furthered that an unwise decision from the apex court would cause anarchy, chaos and riots across the country.

He said that there are different opinions regarding the election and that the Parliament had the authority to guide the government and institutions. Sana added that the incumbent government wanted to proceed according to the Constitution.

The interior minister stated that on orders from the SC, the electoral watchdog gave the election schedule, and the government had initiated the process under those directives. Sana maintained that the government could “not even think” of revoking the top court’s orders.

Sana added that there will be no level playing field in the National Assembly elections in the presence of the ruling government after the provincial elections, adding that questions would be raised on the conduct of fair and transparent elections.

The interior minister further said that it would be better for the country if the elections of all the assemblies were transparent, fair, and conducted at the same time in the presence of caretaker governments.

His statement comes as all eyes are set on Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial in the wake of the ECP’s surprising volte-face to postpone the Punjab elections, originally scheduled for April 30, till October 8.

CJP Bandial – who has already made it clear that the Supreme Court would interfere in case the polls were delayed – had earlier invoked suo motu jurisdiction to hold general elections of both provincial assemblies within 90 days.

Now, the electoral watchdog’s announcement has potentially thrown the ball back to the SC’s court, renewing debate whether the top court – which was divided over ideological lines – would compel the ECP and executive authorities to hold elections of two provincial assemblies immediately.

The twist comes at a time when a section of SC judges is being accused of ‘tilting the scales’ in PTI’s favour is purportedly revealed in an alleged video leak of Muhammad Khan Bhatti, former principal secretary to ex-chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, in which he accused some judicial figures of supporting the PTI.


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