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PESHAWAR: Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Haji Ghulam Ali on Wednesday advised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take the province’s security situation into consideration before holding election there.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja, the governor said the opinion of law enforcement agencies should be taken into account before holding election in the province that has been rocked by terrorist attacks lately.

In his letter the governor did not propose any date for election for filling the seats of the provincial legislature. Governor Ghulam Ali was of the opinion that the date for election should be announced after consultation with the security agencies as well as the political parties.

A spokesperson for ECP confirmed that the governor had not informed the commission of any date for the elections. The ECP has already shared with the governors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab the proposed dates for elections to be held in the two provinces.

According to media reports, the electoral watchdog proposed that election to the seats in Punjab Assembly be held between April 9 and 13 and for those of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly between April 15 and 17. It asked the two governors to finalise the dates for polling.

On Tuesday the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf approached the Peshawar High Court with a plea that the election be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the provincial assembly. In a writ petition filed by the party through Advocate Moazzam Butt, it has been stated that the ECP has written to the governor to finalise a date for the election but the latter has not yet done so, which “is an unconstitutional and illegal move”.

The petition said that according to the law, it is the duty of the government to supervise the election within 90 days after the dissolution of the assembly. “Everything is clear in Article 5 of the Constitution that election is mandatory within 90 days.”

The petition added that the court should issue orders to the governor to announce a date for the election.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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