The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday decided not to attend the meeting summoned by President Arif Alvi to discuss the dates for holding elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
According to ECP spokesperson, the decision was taken in a consultative meeting of the ECP chaired by Chief Election Commissioner, Sikandar Sultan Raja.
In a letter written to the President Secretariat, the election commission said it may not be able to enter into a process of consultation with the Presidency, as the matter was subjudice at various judicial fora.
In its reply to the second letter of President Arif Alvi on Sunday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had refused to enter into the process of consultation with the office of the President regarding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
“Under Article 105 of the Constitution, the governor can give the date of elections for a dissolved assembly,” read the text of the ECP’s reply. “The ECP wrote a letter to the governors of Punjab and KP in the light of the Constitution, and both of them have not yet given the date for elections,” it added.
“The matter related to the general elections in both the provinces is under hearing in different courts. The Lahore High Court (LHC) in its order had directed to consult with the Governor of Punjab,” it stated. “The ECP officials had consulted with the Governor of Punjab, but he did not give the date for elections,” it maintained. “The ECP also filed an intra-appeal in the LHC regarding the decision. The ECP has no constitutional or legal authority to fix the date for elections,” it stated.
Earlier, President Alvi had summoned the chief election commissioner for an “urgent meeting” on February 20 (Monday) to hold consultations on the election date.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Presidency has decided to issue a statement in this regard. Meanwhile, sources at the Presidency said orders have been issued for releasing a statement after the scheduled time for meeting with the ECP officials is over.
The time for meeting at President was set from 11:00 am to 11:30 am, said sources at the President. A statement will be issued after the President’s consultation on constitutional issues.—NNI