SC Hold Provincial and General Elections Together

On Thursday, someone filed a petition in the Supreme Court (SC) to hold elections in the national and provincial assemblies on the same date.

Malik Faisal Mahmood, a resident of Punjab’s Talagang, moved the apex court through Malik Kabir advocate.

“An important question of public importance has arisen and this August Supreme Court (SC) may kindly declare the effects of the provision of the Constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan with regard to holding of Elections of provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P),” stated the petition.

The petition added that the “postponement of provincial assemblies till the holding of general elections will resolve the issue of mistrust, impartiality this time and the time to come and the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan will be implemented in true letter and spirit”.

The petitioner also noted that holding elections on different dates “will have additional financial effects” and without the presence of security forces will become a “risky affair”.

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The petition added that they should give top consideration to the non-availability of security forces for election duties due to the prevailing security situation.

Mahmood requested the court to delay the elections of Punjab and K-P until the date of general elections to ensure transparency and hold the elections of the National Assembly and provincial assemblies on the same date.

The petition stated that the provincial assembly elections “be delayed till the completion of census in the country”.

A day earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) notified October 8 as the date for elections in K-P.

Moreover, last Wednesday, the ECP had delayed the election in Punjab until October 8 on the grounds that it could not conduct transparent and peaceful polls on the scheduled date of April 30.

However, the PTI, which had dissolved its government in both the provinces in a bid to ratchet up pressures against the ruling coalition to announce early elections, moved the Supreme Court against the ECP’s move.

The party maintained that the ECP’s move “is in violation of the Constitution as well as the apex court order”.

A day earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial had observed that the ECP had no right to postpone the Punjab Assembly elections.

A five-member larger bench, headed by CJP Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail heard the case.

The PTI is likely to challenge the ECP’s decision to hold the elections in K-P in the SC as well.

Published on Logical Baat, March 30,2023.

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