No possibility of delay in polls: CJP

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Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said there was no possibility of a delay in the upcoming elections unless the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ‘becomes helpless.’
Justice Nisar made the comment during the hearing of a case regarding electoral amendments filed by the Workers Party. All matters pertaining to elections must be completed on an urgent basis, the chief justice noted.
Director-general of Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) noted that the code of conduct was formulated in consultation with all the political parties.
The petitioner’s lawyer maintained that the apex court had already announced a verdict on electoral reforms in 2012.
DG ECP informed the court that a new code of conduct for General Elections 2018 was formed after Election Act 2017 was passed.
CJP Nisar noted that the new code of conduct will be compared to its previous issue.
The hearing was then adjourned till Wednesday, with directives issued by the apex court for the formation of a larger bench.
The Lahore High Court had announced a verdict on June 1 that nullified nomination form of electoral candidates for the upcoming general elections. The ruling had created the possibility of a delay in the elections after the court ordered the ECP to add the requirements of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution to the nomination papers.
The Supreme Court, however, on Sunday overruled the verdict.
ECP will continue to receive the nomination papers, in compliance with the approved format in the Election Act 2017, from June 4 till June 8.
The nomination papers will be scrutinised on June 14, while appeals against decisions by returning officers can be filed till June 19, as per ECP.
The appeal tribunal will wind up requests by June 26 and a day later, on June 27, candidates’ list would be displayed again. The candidates will then have time until June 28 to withdraw their nomination papers, after which a new list with election symbols to be issued on June 29.

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