Unilateral Announcement Of Poll Date: PM Shehbaz To Write To President Alvi To Condemn Move

Unilateral Announcement Of Poll Date: PM Shehbaz To Write To President Alvi To Condemn Move

Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif has said that President Arif Alvi’s announcement of the election date was an unconstitutional move, announcing that he would write a letter to the president to condemn his move.

On February 20, President Alvi ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections on April 9 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, where the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) dissolved its governments last month. However, the president's action was severely criticised by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) parties.

PM Shehbaz, along with his cabinet members, said that he would write a letter to President Alvi on behalf of the cabinet condemning his step.

Speaking at a press conference, PM Shehbaz stated that President Alvi had also committed an unconstitutional act nine months prior. He was obviously alluding to President Alvi's refusal to administer the oath to PM Shehbaz following the successful no-confidence vote that resulted in the ouster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

PM Shehbaz also criticised the PTI administration, saying that the Gwadar port had failed under Imran's leadership. He said that the port has begun operating today and wheat is being exported from there.

The decision by President Alvi to unilaterally declare the election date sparked discussion over his authority among political leaders and legal and constitutional experts. Whereas, the party supporters have defended him.

Those who support the PDM parties denounced President Alvi's move. The president is "exceeding his limitations," said defence minister Khawaja Asif, who also noted that Alvi is acting at Imran Khan's orders.

Similarly, the Federal Minister for Planning and Development and senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said that it is the right of the ECP to announce a date for the elections. He was of the opinion that the president should not have announced the date.

Moreover, former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani said that the president was not empowered to take the decision. Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb also criticised the president's move.

As per legal experts, the date for elections should be declared by the governor, and arrangements for conducting elections should be ensured by the ECP. It is pertinent to mention here that the governor can only announce the date for elections after signing the dissolution paper. But the Punjab governor has not yet signed the dissolution paper.