ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, has urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the election date in accordance with the constitution. He has written a letter regarding this issue.
In his letter, the President stated, “According to the Election Act of 2017, the ECP is obliged to announce the election date immediately following the dissolution of the assembly.”
Alvi said, “Acting upon the law, the ECP should announce the date of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assembly so that propaganda based upon the rumors can be averted.”
However, referring to Article 224 of the Constitution of Pakistan, President Alvi emphasized that elections must be held within 90 days.
“The aforementioned article read; When the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly is dissolved, a general election to the Assembly shall be held within ninety days after the dissolution, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than fourteen days after the conclusion of the polls.”
In his letter, President Alvi also emphasized that it is the constitutional responsibility of the ECP to conduct free and fair elections, citing Article 218 of the Constitution.
Under Article 218(3) it shall be the duty of the Election Commission to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly, and in accordance with the law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against.
“If the ECP fails to fulfill its duty, it will be held responsible for violating the law and will be accountable,” Alvi stated.
Hence, he added that as the head of the country, he has taken an oath to protect and defend the constitution. The President reminded the Chief Election Commissioner and members of the ECP of this constitutional obligation.
President Alvi reiterated the importance of avoiding a violation of the Constitution and the Election Act of 2017 and urged the ECP to announce the election dates for both dissolved assemblies.
The Objective Resolution
However, President Arif Alvi also referred to the Objective Resolution and emphasized that it is clear that the state should exercise its power and authority through elected representatives of the people.
The Objective Resolution is a steadfast commitment made by our forefathers, and the Constitution leaves no room for ambiguity in its commitment to democratic principles and values,” the President stated.
“Even during the war, the oldest democratic countries did not delay their elections,” he said, citing the United States as an example, which held elections in 1812 and 1864 during wartime.
Meanwhile, In conclusion, the President commended the actions of the Election Commission and stated that announcing by-elections in different constituencies is a constitutional and appropriate measure.
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