A letter from President Dr Arif Alvi has caused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to express its disappointment and urge the President to use “appropriate language” in his communications with other constitutional institutions. ECP stated that the President’s office holds the highest constitutional position and that all other legal and constitutional bodies must respect the President.
The ECP reminded the President that it operates in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that its primary responsibility is the conduct of elections. According to Article 48(5) and 105(3) of the Constitution, it is the responsibility of the president and governor to announce election dates.
It has been clarified by the ECP that it is not able to set a date for general elections in the event of the dissolution of an assembly. Furthermore, it stressed that it has taken all necessary steps to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections and that it is fully aware of its constitutional responsibilities.
In addition, the ECP informed the President that it had met with the governors to discuss the upcoming elections for provincial assemblies, but the governors declined to provide an election date, indicating their intention to seek legal counsel.
The Chief Election Commissioner had received a letter from the President complaining about the ECP’s “apathy and inaction” in responding to his earlier letter. The President said he was disappointed by the ECP’s inaction on this issue because he had been waiting for it to uphold its constitutional duties.
In conclusion, the ECP has voiced its disappointment and urged the President to address constitutional institutions in a respectful manner. The ECP has outlined its duties and emphasised the President and governors constitutional duties with regard to election dates. The ECP’s inaction in response to the President’s letter had angered the President.