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ECP chooses to file a lawsuit in order to “go forward”

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday decided to ask the court of law for a “go Forward”

After a special meeting that was conducted here at the Election Commission Secretariat and attended by its members and other top officials, the electoral body came up with this solution. The meeting was presided over by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja. About two hours were spent discussing the issue’s legal and constitutional solutions at the forum.

According to sources, the conference reviewed the situation after Governor of Punjab Balighur Rehman declined to participate in the consultation process to set the date of the Punjab Assembly election because he was not in favour of the dissolution of the provincial legislature.Sources said the commission was determined to uphold its constitutional duties, but they also noted that the Election Commission was unable to set the election date on its own because Article 105(3) of the Constitution clearly requires the governor to do so no later than 90 days following the dissolution of a provincial assembly.

The ECP will follow the law and the Constitution, and the Lahore High Court has already instructed the commission to consult Governor Punjab on this matter, they argued. “Being a constitutional body, we just can’t be influenced by the will of the people, rather the ECP will go by the law and Constitution,” they insisted.

The governors of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in an interesting turn of events, have already declined to announce dates for general elections to the provincial assemblies. Instead, they urged the commission to consult the appropriate parties and assess the current security and economic situation before making a decision in this regard.

The Election Commission was also made aware of the lack of police officers and the impending terrorism threats by the chief secretaries of the two provinces as well as the inspectors general of police. Imran Khan, the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was ordered by the Election Commission on Wednesday to provide a response in the event that he were to be removed from the position of party leader.

Ex-attorney premier’s Barrister Gohar argued during the case’s hearing before the ECP bench that as petitioner counsel Afaq Ahmed did not appear before the commission, the case should be dismissed for non-compliance.

However, Justice (retired) Ikramullah Khan, an ECP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa member, invited the attorney to present their case and stated that the matter would be investigated.

Written by Aly Bukshi

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