Lawyer moves SC against ECP’s authority to give elections date

ISLAMABAD: A senior advocate on Thursday challenged the Election Commission of Pakistan’s authority to give a date for the general elections in the Supreme Court.

Azhar Siddique, the head of the Judicial Activism Panel, has filed a constitutional petition in the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry in this regard.

The federal government, the election commission and others have been made parties in the petition.

According to the Constitution, the president of Pakistan has the authority to give the date for the elections, the petition maintains.

It further adds that by amending Section 57 of the Elections Act, the authority to give a date for elections was given to the election commission.

The amendment to Section 57 of the Elections Act was inconsistent with articles 48, 58 and 107 of the Constitution.

The petition sought to declare the amendment to the Election Act unconstitutional.

It also requested for an order to declare unconstitutional the move to dissolve the assembly before the expiry of its term with the intention to delay the elections.

On Wednesday, President Dr Arif Alvi wrote a letter to the chief election commissioner, advising him to hold the general elections on November 6.

The letter states that the president of Pakistan dissolved the National Assembly on August 9 on the advice of the prime minister.

The general elections must be held on the 89th day of the dissolution of the assembly, on November 6, he further says, adding that to fulfil the constitutional obligations, he had invited Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja for a consultation on the elections.

There is a consensus on holding the general election to the National and all four provincial assemblies on the same day, the president’s letter states.

Under Article 48(5) of the Constitution, the president has the power to fix a date for general elections within 90 days from the date of dissolution of the National Assembly.




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