ECP Postpones Punjab Elections Scheduled For April 30

ECP Postpones Punjab Elections Scheduled For April 30
The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced to postpone the Punjab elections scheduled for April 30, saying the polls will now be held in the province on October 8.

According to the electoral authority, a formal notification will also be issued with regard to the decision.

"In exercise of the powers conferred upon it under Article 218(3) read with Section 58 and Section 8 (c) of the elections act, 2017 and all other powers enabling it in that behalf, the Commission hereby withdraws the election program," read the ECP order.

It added that a "fresh schedule will be issued in due course of time with [the] poll date on October 8."

On March 3, President Arif Alvi approved April 30 as the date for holding elections in Punjab, after reviewing the dates provided for the polls.

The top electoral authority had earlier advised the polling to be held between April 30 and May 7.

On March 1, the Supreme Court of Pakistan 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 Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar, and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar.

A day prior to the verdict, CJP Bandial vowed to protect the Constitution, not a particular political party. He remarked, "We cannot abandon the Constitution, and we cannot override the Constitution."

When the Punjab and KP 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 the elections.

Justices Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi had withdrawn from the hearing at the outset due to concerns about their eligibility to be a part of the bench.

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

ECP order