KP governor finally announces May 28 for elections after meeting President Alvi
The governor announced the date after a meeting with President Arif Alvi.
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Tuesday finally announced that elections to the provincial assembly would be held on May 28.
The governor expressed the hope that the elections would be held in a peaceful environment "although police were targeted in Laki Marwat and Charsadda." He said he had fulfilled his constitutional obligation despite the fact that tribal people were protesting against the worsening law and order situation.
The governor said he had to work very hard to bring all factions to the negotiation table and evolve a consensus on the date to hold the general election. He, however, sounded pessimistic that the election would be held accoring to the schedule.
"I think, I would have to meet the president soon, again," he continued.
GOVERNOR MEETS PRESIDENT
Earlier, President Dr Arif Alvi “advised” Governor Haji Ghulam Ali to “forthwith” announce the date for general elections to the provincial assembly to “avoid any complication”.
According to a press release issued by the President’s Secretariat, Mr Ali called on President Alvi at the Aiwan-i-Sadr and discussed matters related to holding of general elections.
“The president advised the KP governor to implement the Supreme Court’s order in letter and spirit wherein it had been directed that the governor, after consultation with the Election Commission of Pakistan, forthwith announce a date for the general election to the provincial assembly to avoid any complication as almost a period of two weeks had already passed,” the press release continued.
“The president stressed the need for upholding the Constitution and holding general elections within the stipulated time, which had been mandated by the Constitution, further affirmed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and was essential for strengthening parliamentary democracy in the country,” the press release added.
On the orders of Supreme Court, the Election Commission (ECP) announced April 30 as date for general elections in Punjab. The Supreme Court had on March 1 announced that the elections to the Punjab and KP assemblies should be held within 90 days. It had, however, left it to the ECP to announce a date keeping in view any possible hindrance to hold elections within 90 days.
It had also held that President Alvi and the KP governor would fix dates for Punjab and KP assemblies, respectively, in consultation with the ECP.
It may be recalled that the Punjab and KP assemblies were dissolved by the ruling PTI and its allies on Jan 14 and Jan 18, respectively. Under the law, the elections are to be held within 90 days after the dissolution of assemblies. That means the general elections should be held on April 14 and April 17 in the Punjab and KP, but the two governors failed to perform their constitutional duties on one pretext or the other.
Provincial bureaucracy, during meetings with the ECP, had said it was short of police force and talked of terrorism threats, making out a case for putting off elections. The finance division had also expressed its inability to provide funds and the interior ministry informed the ECP that the army and civil armed forces would not be available.
On Feb 17, the president called CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja for an urgent meeting regarding consultations on election dates but he told Alvi that he was not authorised to announce dates for general elections.