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President Alvi asks ECP to immediately announce date for KP, Punjab polls

President Alvi asks ECP to immediately announce date for KP, Punjab polls


President Alvi asks ECP to immediately announce date for KP, Punjab polls

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – President Arif Alvi has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to immediately announce the date of elections for provincial assemblies of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to “put an end to dangerous speculative propaganda”.

The president has written a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been demanding the KP and Punjab governors, and ECP to announce date for elections since the dissolution of the provincial assemblies last month.

In the letter, Mr Alvi referred to the dissolution of the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and said “the election of an Assembly is to be held within 90 days of the dissolution as provided by the Article 224(2) of the Constitution”. He added that the conduct and holding of elections was the primary and essential duty of the ECP as per PART VIII of the Constitution, particularly Article 218 (3) which assigned the duty to the ECP to ensure the holding of fair and free elections.

He conveyed that it was ultimately the Commission which, if it failed to discharge its functions and duties, was to be held responsible and answerable for the violation of the Constitution of the country.

Read More: ECP says no decision on date of Punjab, KP elections

“Referring to Article 42 and Third Schedule, the president stressed that he was under oath ‘to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution’ being the Head of State,” reads the press release. He reminded the CEC and the members of the ECP about their fundamental duty as per their oath to avoid serious consequences of breach/violation of the Constitution/law and announce election schedule of the two dissolved assemblies forthwith. 

Highlighting the significance of the Preamble/Objectives Resolution, the president said the preamble stated in unambiguous words that ‘the State shall exercise its power and authority through the chosen representatives of the people’.

“Such is the unflinching resolve and commitment by the forefathers of the Nation who drafted the Objectives Resolution duly made part of the Constitution (Article 2A). Thus, there remains no obscurity about the democratic principles and values that are to be adhered to, observed and followed”, he further wrote.

Read More: Imran to use court arrest as trump card if elections delayed in Punjab, KP

He emphasised that the oldest democracies had never delayed elections even during wars. In this regard, he quoted the examples of the USA which held elections despite being at war with Great Britain in 1812 under President James Madison. He further stated that in 1864 during the American Civil War, top advisers of the then president, Abraham Lincoln, wanted to postpone elections due to the Civil War but he disagreed with them, and even though he thought that he was going to lose the elections, he never really contemplated suspending the elections.

He said the Commission itself had already taken an appropriate constitutional step and had announced the holding of bye-elections of National Assembly seats of different constituencies. The president concluded that he was of the firm view that there were no such circumstances in the country that provided any justification for delaying or postponing the elections.

He stressed that recent world history had shown that the postponement of constitutionally-mandated elections had caused serious long-term setbacks to democracy.