What Constitution says about President’s authority to announce elections date?


LAHORE – President Arif Alvi has unilaterally announced the date for the electoral process in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a move that triggers debate about his authority to do so.

Former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan Kanwar Dilshad speaks with Pakistan Observer and cleared the air, saying the country’s supreme commander flouted several sections of the Constitution by announcing the date for the two local legislatures.

President Alvi violated Sections 48, 224, and 220-A of the Constitution by announcing the date of the poll. He also flouted Section 57 of the Election Act 2017. The legal expert opined that the country’s electoral watchdog will quash the move, and added that Mr. Alvi violated his oath.

Delving into details, former ECP members called it beyond President’s authority and neither ECP got absolute powers to announce polls date unilaterally, and mentioned that only Governor is authorized to do so.

He continued saying that Alvi’s move will prompt the federal government to file impeachment against him in Parliament, for violating oath at the behest of his political leader.

Other experts claimed that Alvi’s unilateral announcement is challengeable as ECP called for an emergency meeting to chalk out future strategy.

The matter of the election date becomes the bone of contention between ruling alliance members and the opposition as the political crisis worsened in recent times.