Thursday, March 09, 2023

ECP, governor meeting fails to finalise date for KP elections

As per Constitution it's governor's job to announce date for polls within 90 days, ECP officials say

Female election staff counting votes in this undated photo. — APP/File
Female election staff counting votes in this undated photo. — APP/File

  • High-level meeting held at KP Governor’s House.
  • Governor says he will hold final meeting with ECP next week on election date.
  • ECP in contact with interim CM on security issues.

PESHAWAR: Despite the Supreme Court’s orders, a date for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly elections could not be finalised in the meeting held between senior officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Governor Ghulam Ali, reported The News on Thursday.

The KP Assembly was dissolved in mid-January and a caretaker setup was put in place to hold elections. However, a date is yet to be finalised for the elections.

A high-level meeting was held at the KP Governor’s House on Wednesday between Ghulam Ali and ECP officials.

“A delegation of the ECP, led by its secretary, briefed the governor that under the Constitution, he (governor is supposed to announce a date for the polls within 90 days,” an official said.

The official, who spoke to the publication on the condition of anonymity, added that the delegation told Governor Ali that they were supposed to discuss the date of the poll while the ECP was in contact with the caretaker government and others concerned regarding security and other arrangements for the elections.

The official said the governor informed them that he would hold a final meeting with the ECP next week on the date.

Governor Ali, in a letter on Monday, had invited the ECP for a meeting at the Governor’s House either on March 7 or March 8.

“The Election Commission of Pakistan is welcome to attend the office of the undersigned on March 7 or March 8 at 11 am as per convenience so that an active and meaningful consultative process could be initiated,” stated the letter by the governor. It was written in response to a communique sent by the ECP for the announcement of the election date.

The governor’s letter mentioned the verdict of the apex court in a suo moto case regarding the date for the elections, stating that the undersigned was obligated to honour it in letter and spirit.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan last week ruled that elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab should be held within 90 days.

The provincial assemblies in both provinces were dissolved in mid-January and caretaker governments were installed for the last couple of months.

The two assemblies where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was in majority were dissolved on the directives of PTI Chairman Imran Khan to force the federal government to early general elections in the country.