PTI requests Supreme Court to revisit KP polls delay

  • PTI wants apex court to scrap KP Governor Ghulam Ali’s petition seeking a delay in elections till October
Published April 6, 2023

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC), asking it ensure elections for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly are held as per the Constitution.

In the petition, the party has requested that the apex court ask the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold KP elections nearest to the 90-day period after the dissolution of the province’s assembly and scrap KP Governor Ghulam Ali’s petition seeking a delay in elections till October.

Supreme Court orders Punjab elections to be held on May 14

The SC had ordered the ECP to hold Punjab and KP elections in April. However, the ECP went against this and said polls would be held in October in Punjab. Following this, Ghulam Ali had written to ECP to delay elections in KP to October as well.

But this week, the SC overturned ECP’s decision to postpone Punjab elections and fixed May 14 as date for polls. Subsequently, PTI filed a petition in the SC to revisit the delay in KP elections also, and have polls conducted “not later than 90 days subject to the barest minimum to that timeframe”.

KP Governor urges ECP to hold provincial elections on October 8

The petition states that the ECP has no jurisdiction or power to amend the Constitution and hold the elections beyond the constitutional period of 90 days, nor can it overrule or review the Supreme Court’s verdict.

It further says that “under the Constitution, there is no provision in which an unelected and selected caretaker government can continue to operate for more than a period of 90 days”.

After top court ruling, ECP issues new schedule for Punjab elections

On the matter of the KP governor citing security concerns as the reason behind the delay, the PTI’s petition states that the “Constitution of Pakistan does not recognise any such illegal excuses”.

Govt should announce readiness to engage with PTI: Asad Qaiser

Earlier, PTI leader Asad Qaiser had called on the government to publicly announce its readiness to engage in negotiations with the PTI, while also expressing his party’s willingness to consider constitutional amendments for adjustments to the election schedule beyond the 90-day requirement under the law.

“We want the government to sit together [for talks on elections] and we are also ready for a constitutional amendment, if for one time, the [polls] can be extended beyond 90 days. What more flexibility can we offer?” he said.

Supreme Court ruling

On Tuesday, the SC said that ECP’s decision to postpone polls in Punjab till October 8 was unconstitutional.

The court ruled that the Constitution and law do not allow the ECP to postpone the elections, ordering that the elections in Punjab be held on May 14.

It directed the caretaker government in Punjab to assist the ECP with elections next month and said the federal government has been asked to assist the commission, ordering authorities to release Rs21 billion to the ECP by April 10.

Following orders of party chairman Imran Khan, PTI dissolved KP and Punjab assemblies in January to pressurise the federal government to hold general elections.


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