Thursday, March 23, 2023

Pakistan president wants election date set amid political crisis

Supreme Court adjourned hearing for third day without issuing decisive verdict

President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to suggest dates to hold general elections in the country under Article 224(2) of the Constitution.

Dr. Alvi’s letter to the electoral body stated that under Article 48(5)(A) and Article 224(2) of the Constitution, the president is bound to announce a date, not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution of the National Assembly, to hold general elections in the country.

“In order to carry out the mandate of the Constitution of announcing the date of general elections, consultation with the Election Commission is required under Section 57(1) of the Elections Act, 2017,” the letter added.

The development comes after the president dissolved the lower house of the parliament on April 3 on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advice. Earlier, the same day, the deputy speaker National Assembly dismissed a no-confidence motion against PM Khan, citing Article of the constitution.

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court is currently hearing the matter to decide if the ruling issued by the deputy speaker and the dissolution of the lower house by the president comply with the constitution of Pakistan or not.

ECP considering options

The ECP has started considering options to carry out delimitation of constituencies as early as possible, sources told Dawn news. The Chief Election Commis­sioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has already started chairing meetings to discuss constitutional prevailing in the country as well as ECP’s preparations for general elections in case the Supreme Court upholds the dissolution of the lower house, sources told the Dawn news.

Supreme Court adjourns hearing again

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Pakistan adjourned the hearing on the deputy speaker’s ruling on the no-confidence motion and PM Imran’s decision to dissolve parliament for a third consecutive day, without issuing a decisive verdict.

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