PAKISTAN: SUPREME COURT
Local News Islamabad, ISLAMABAD
News ID : 93181 Video Version : 1 Script Version : 1
Pakistan’s Apex Court orders elections in Punjab and KP within 90 days
The Supreme Court rules that the Pakistani President's orders about date of election will be binding on Punjab but not KP.
STORY: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday (March 01) ordered that elections for the Assemblies in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces should be held in the next 90 days.
According to the judgement , the general election to the Punjab Assembly ought to be held on April 9, 2023, the date announced by the President Arif Alvi.
"However, we are informed that on account of the delay in the emergence of the date for the holding of the general election, it may not be possible to meet the 90-day deadline stipulated by the constitution", the court statement said.
Addressing a news conference after the verdict, Barrister Zafar Iqbal, a lawyer for the Supreme Court said:
“The Court has given a ruling according to the Constitution, and has said that the order given by the (Pakistani) President is the prerogative of the President. According to the law and the Constitution, he has the power to fix a date for the elections. The President will announce the date for the Punjab Assembly elections. The day he announces the date of the election, which should be within 90 days, all executive authorities and the Federal government will be bound to provide all funds , all assistance, all security required for the election. “
However, he said the court had also ruled that President Arif Alvi's orders will be binding on Punjab but not on KP.
“As far as the election in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) is concerned , the court has said that the KPK governor will announce that immediately after consultation with the Chief Election Commission. And the date of that election should also be announced within 90 days,” Zafar Iqbal said.
The court ruled that since elections after the dissolution of a provincial assembly were to be held within a stipulated period of time, the president or the governor “must discharge the constitutional responsibility of appointing a date for the said election swiftly and without any delay and within the shortest time possible”.
Seeking to force Pakistan to hold an early national election, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) the opposition party led by former prime minister Imran Khan dissolved its provincial governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in mid January .
According to the Constitution, fresh polls for the two provincial assemblies should be held within 90 days, and PTI is hoping that the national government being unable to afford to hold the provincial elections separately from a national election, would be forced to call for a general election in the country.
The General Election is otherwise due by October.