Pak President calls ECP chief for ‘urgent meeting’ on elections

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ISLAMABAD – President Dr Arif Alvi has invited the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, for an urgent meeting on Feb 20 for consultation on the “date or dates of the general elections”.

The development comes as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and governors of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) are not announcing date for elections for the assemblies dissolved by the PTI in January this year in a bid to put pressure on the PDM-led government.

Last week, the Lahore High Court (LHC) also directed the ECP to immediately announce the date for elections in the Punjab province after holding consultation with the Punjab governor but they could not make headway.

In a letter to the CEC, the president had called him for consultation in terms of Section 57(1) of Elections Act, 2017, that provides that the President shall announce the date or dates of the general elections after consultation with the Commission (ECP).

The president said that since his “letter dated Feb 8, some substantial developments (e.g., the Judgment of the Honourable Lahore High Court and recent observations of the Honourable Supreme Court) had taken place”.

He expressed displeasure over the apathy and inaction on the part of the Commission that didn’t respond to his earlier letter as yet.

The president stated that he had waited anxiously that the ECP would realize its constitutional duties to proceed and act accordingly, but he was extremely dismayed by ECP’s poignant approach on this important matter.

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