ECP refuses to consult President Arif Alvi on Punjab and KP polls

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ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has excused itself from holding consultations with President Arif Alvi on elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It may be noted that President Alvi on Friday had invited Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja for an ‘urgent meeting’ on February 20 for consultations on the dates for the polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab.

However, after finding fault with the president’s “choice of words” in the letter, ECP has now said that it may not be able to enter into a process of consultation with the office of the president due to the “matter being subjudice at various judicial fora” and several other reasons.

A letter issued by the ECP secretary to president’s secretary stated that the electoral body was well aware of its constitutional and legal obligations.

“It is pertinent to mention that Article 105 read with Article 112 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, provides the procedure for appointment of poll date in case of dissolution of the provincial assemblies,” it stated.

The ECP secretary informed the office of the president that the commission — following the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies — had approached the governors of both the provinces for deciding a date for holding the polls. He said that the Punjab and KP governors had responded to the letters but were yet to issue a date.

In reference to Lahore High Court’s (LHC) directive for Punjab election date, the letter stated that the ECP held a consultative meeting with Punjab Baligh ur Rehman in line with the orders but the latter expressed intention to avail the legal remedy against the judgment as “it was not binding on him”.

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