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Pakistan

ECP postpones Punjab elections till October 8

  • Electoral watchdog says fresh schedule will be issued in due course of time
Published March 22, 2023 Updated March 23, 2023

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) postponed the Punjab elections till October 8, saying that a new schedule will be issued in due course of time, Aaj News reported on Wednesday.

In the order, the ECP said that in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by Article 218(3) read with Section 58 and Section 8(c) of the Elections Act, 2017, the commission “hereby withdraws the election program […], and fresh schedule will be issued in due course of time with the poll date on October 8”.

Earlier, ECP had announced to hold polls for the dissolved assembly of Punjab on April 30.

The electoral watchdog said the decision was reached after taking all stakeholders on board.

President Dr Arif Alvi, earlier this month, announced that general elections for the provincial assembly of Punjab would be held on April 30.

According to the President of Pakistan’s official Twitter handle, the date was decided after considering the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) proposal that suggested holding elections for the Punjab provincial assembly between April 30 and May 7.

The ECP conveyed the recommendation to President Alvi In a letter and was expected to release a schedule for elections shortly.

“The Election Commission has sent a letter to the president in light of the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in which the dates for holding the elections in Punjab have been suggested between April 30 and May 7, 2023,” stated a press release.

Commenting on the development, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said that the ECP's decision to postpone elections was a blatant violation of the Constitution.

"Today, everyone must stand behind the legal community - the judiciary and lawyers - with the expectation that they will protect Constitution. If this is accepted today, then it is the end of the rule of law in Pakistan," he said in a tweet.

Earlier, the PTI chief had announced that his Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments would dissolve their assemblies to pave the way for fresh elections. This was eventually achieved earlier this year.

However, delays over KP and Punjab polls remained. As per law, ECP is bound to hold elections within 90 days of an assembly being dissolved.

Comments

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zh Mar 22, 2023 10:46pm
ECP(ML-N) is supposed to be an independent body, NOT a B-team of Maryam Nawaz.
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zh Mar 22, 2023 10:48pm
So what happens to the care-taker governments, these only have a mandate per constitution for 90 days?
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bonce Mar 22, 2023 11:47pm
@zh, Election is the wastage of money in Pakistan. The decision of election result come from GHQ. Who will be the PM of Pakistan and for how many days. No doubt we had fair election in 1970 in the history of Pakistan, but GHQ refused to accept the result, In this way we lost one wing by own own hand.
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TimeToMovveOn Mar 23, 2023 12:16am
@zh, This was not unexpected. This is the equivalent of a coup without a military. Regarding care taker govt, term, since we are violating one part of the constitution, it does not matter what the other part of the constitution says. Which brings up a point Why does Pakistan even have a constitution then? IK is spreading anarchy...PDM is tearing up the constitution...and meanwhile Bilawal is mouthing that India illegally changed its constitution on Kashmir. Any wonder no one in the international area takes Pakistan seriously.
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KhanRA Mar 23, 2023 12:33am
I can’t believe that I, at one time, supported Nawaz Sharif and had a positive view of his daughter. They and their entire party are the absolute worst example of nepotism. Dynastic politics must be abolished - Pakistan should not be a vessel for the Sharifs and Bhuttos to increase their wealth.
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TimeToMovveOn Mar 23, 2023 12:54am
So basically, the only rationale in the judgement is that the Pak army cannot provide security for elections. If the nuclear-powered mighty Pak army cannot help a country hold elections, why have we been paying the army all these days? And how are they going to deliver Kashmir from India, if they cannot even help run a provincial election?
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Kashif ALI Mar 23, 2023 01:40am
Whether, it is IK - Imran aka Ilzaam Khan and his coterie - or PDM, Democracy is only suited in those societies where there is rule of law, people are educated, responsible and law-abiding citizens. Pakistan does not fall into that category. Elections are wastage of my paid taxes. Absolute despotic nationalist or Technocrat must rule this country. Such nationalist or Technocrat must have one motto: Pakistan First!!! My father's generation (all septa and octogenarians) have gone bonkers, brain-freeze in supporting this fitna khan. These old men and women are equally complicit in bringing this country to such filthy shameful situation. Current and previous generations of Pakistanis are incapable of making right decisions. A new breed of Pakistani nationalists needs to be grown and nurtured. Till then, no democracy but only despotic, absolute monarchy or technocracy !!!!
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BK Mar 23, 2023 03:08am
Come October what is the guarantee that elections will not be postponed again. Army elites couldn’t get rid of IK in time so now want till oct to either put him in jail or in a grave. Same on you Pak army! SHAME ON PAK ARMY !!!!
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RHP Mar 23, 2023 03:15am
Alas! This country has become a joke. Why even bother holding elections on Oct 8th. If the constitutional institutions themselves have no regard for constitution why do they expect anyone else to follow laws based on that constitution.
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Ash Chak Mar 23, 2023 05:14am
If the PDM government seriously thinks that the economic situation will become better by Oct 08 they are in for a surprise. If I were them, I would cut my losses, hold elections and hand over this mess to whoever gets voted into power. The chalice is poisoned.
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