ISLAMABAD: Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ghulam Ali, Tuesday, said that he did not “see general elections happening” in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa given the “law and order situation” in the province—yet he fixed this May 28 as the date for the general elections in KP.
“The existing situation is in front of everyone—just imagine that terrorists are not sparing the teams that are carrying out population census exercise in KP—how can election campaign take place in these circumstances?” he remarked, speaking to journalists after meeting Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.
“We have fulfilled our constitutional obligation—I have chosen the May 28 date—at the same time, I have informed the ECP about law and order situation in KP—our job is done, the rest is up to the commission,” Ali said.
In the same vein, he stated, “Our responsibility was to give the general elections date for KP—now it’s the responsibility of the federal and provincial governments to ensure the conduct of the polls—but I don’t see the elections happening.”
Before meeting the CEC, the governor KP also called on President Arif Alvi.
A press release issued after the meeting said the president advised the governor to fix a date for the KP general elections as per Supreme Court’s decision “to avoid any complexity—as almost two weeks have already passed.”
The president said he “declared as necessary the conduct of general elections within the stipulated time period—and the Supreme Court endorsed it.”
President Alvi, in his meeting with Governor Ali, stressed upon abiding by the constitution by holding the general elections timely, the press release said.
Earlier this month, the president announced April 30 as the date for general elections in Punjab— keeping in view that the ECP proposed the Punjab general polls date between April 30-May 7— in a letter written by the CEC to the president.
Last month, the president announced April 9 as the date for holding general elections of Punjab and KP assemblies, in exercise of his powers under Section 57(1) of the Elections Act 2017.
Section 57(1) of Elections Act 2017 provides that the president shall announce the date(s) of the general elections after consultation with ECP.
Alvi invited the ECP for consultations but the commission refused to be part of a related meeting, taking the stance that the matter was sub judice.
The Supreme Court, in its suo moto notice over the matter, ruled that president fix the date for Punjab general polls and governor KP fix the general polls for KP—both in consultation with the ECP.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023