ECP Proposes Polls In Punjab Between April 30 And May 7

ECP Proposes Polls In Punjab Between April 30 And May 7
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has written a letter to President Dr Arif Alvi in which it suggests the dates of April 30 to May 7, 2023, for the Punjab Assembly elections.

An important advisory meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, in which members of the commission and the Secretary Election Commission participated.

The ECP has sent a letter to President Alvi in light of the Supreme Court's ruling, in which the dates of April 30 to May 7, 2023, have been suggested for holding the elections in Punjab province.

According to the Election Commission, the body is ready to perform constitutional and legal duties after the president selects the date for elections.

Apart from this, the ECP has also sent a letter to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor stating that, in light of the Supreme Court's verdict, the Election Commission of Pakistan is awaiting his reply.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) ordered that elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa must take place within the next 90 days.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail dissented from the majority’s decision, leaving the judgment split 3-2. The decision was endorsed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar, and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar.

The dissenting note argued that the suo motu was unmaintainable.

The five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial concluded the two-day-long proceedings in the suo motu case on Tuesday. Concluding the hearing, the bench reserved the verdict and said it would be announced before 11am Wednesday (today).

On Tuesday, CJP Bandial declared that they were there to protect the Constitution, not any particular party. He remarked, "We cannot abandon the Constitution, and we cannot override the Constitution."

When the Punjab and K-P provinces were dissolved earlier this year, the chief justice initially convened a nine-member bench to hear the suo motu notice regarding the delay in announcing provincial elections in both provinces.

Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi withdrew from the hearing on Monday at the start due to concerns about their eligibility to sit on the bench.

While expressing their views on the maintainability of the petitions on the subject, two further judges, Justice Afridi and Justice Minallah, withdrew from the proceedings.

The judgement was welcomed as a "win for the constitution of Pakistan" by PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, who was backed by AML leader Sheikh Rashid in calling it a "success for Imran Khan."

According to Fawad, the two dissenting judges "merely" stated that the SC was "not required to take notice" because a Lahore High Court decision on the subject already existed. Yet, he emphasised, "all five judges believe that elections must be held within 90 days."