President Alvi Invites CEC For 'Urgent Meeting' To Decide Election Dates

President Alvi Invites CEC For 'Urgent Meeting' To Decide Election Dates
President Arif Alvi has invited Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja for an urgent meeting on Monday (Feb 20) to discuss and decide a date for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab elections.

The meeting, will be held at Aiwan-e-Sadr, will discuss the Section 57(1) of Elections Act, 2017 which is about the president's prerogative to announce the election date after consulting the ECP.

On Feb 10, the Lahore High Court ordered ECP to immediately announce the date for elections in Punjab.

In its much-anticipated verdict, the court ruled that the electoral authority was bound to carry out polling within 90 days of the assembly’s dissolution.

The plea, filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for the issuance of the schedule, was admitted last month.

“The ECP is directed to immediately announce the date of election of the provincial assembly of Punjab with the notification specifying reasons, after consultation with the governor, being the constitutional head of the province, to ensure that polls are held not later than 90 days as per the mandate of the Constitution,” read the decision.

During the hearing, Inspector General of Punjab Police told the court. “We will implement whatever decision the ECP takes in this regard.”

On the occasion, the chief secretary seconded the IG, saying he was, too, bound to implement the ECP and court orders.

Two days prior to the order, Alvi had urged the Commission to 'immediately announce' a polling date for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to put an end to the ‘dangerous speculative propaganda’.

He had stressed that elections are to be held within 90 days of dissolution of an assembly, as provided under Article 224(2) of the Constitution.

The conduct and holding of elections, he had stressed, is the primary and essential duty of the authority.

Thus, it is ultimately the Commission, which if it fails to discharge its functions and duties, is to be held responsible and answerable for the violation of our Constitution.”