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Pakistan

CEC turns down president’s invitation for meeting to discuss elections

  • Says power to appoint date for general elections rests exclusively with ECP
Published August 24, 2023

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja turned down on Thursday President Dr Arif Alvi’s invitation regarding setting a date for elections. He said the power to appoint a date for general elections rests exclusively with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

On Wednesday, the president had written to the CEC, seeking a meeting to “fix an appropriate date” for general elections.

In his reply, the CEC said that Section 57 of the Elections Act had been amended due to an act of Parliament, which had empowered the ECP to announce dates for general elections.

“Where the president dissolves the National Assembly, in his discretion, as provided in Article 58(2) read with Article 48(5) of the Constitution then he has to appoint a date for the general elections,” read the reply.

“However, if the assembly is dissolved on the advice of the prime minister or by afflux of time as provided in Article 58(1) of the Constitution, then the commission understands and believes that power to appoint a date or dates for elections rests exclusively with the Commission.”

Raja further said the ECP believes reliance placed on the provisions of the Constitution mentioned in the President’s invitation letter are not applicable in this context.

He added that the ECP is taking its responsibility of holding general elections in the country very seriously, and is of the view that participation in a meeting with the President would be of “scant consequence”.

President invites CEC

Alvi wrote a letter to the CEC on Wednesday, citing the constitutional requirement for the president to decide a date for general elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly (NA).

The development was shared on microblogging platform X (formerly Twitter) by the official account of the President of Pakistan.

The president noted that the National Assembly was dissolved on the advice of the then prime minister Shehbaz Sharif on August 9-08-2023 (three days ahead of its mandated period).

The letter read: “And Whereas by virtue of Article 48(5) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President is obliged to appoint a date not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution for the holding of General Elections of Assembly.”

ECP invites political parties for consultation

Meanwhile, ECP has invited major political parties in the country to hold consultation on general elections, it was reported on Wednesday.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary Information Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed that the party has received invitation from ECP. The development was shared on the official account of PMLN on X.

As per media reports, ECP has written invitation letters to at least four political parties – PTI, PML-N, PPP, and JUI-F, to hold discussion on the elections.

Comments

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Ghazanfar Aug 24, 2023 04:47pm
This Munchi refuse to meet Pakistan President but have meeting with US Ambassador Donald Blome today. I am wondering what is this meeting for? Munchi Shame on you traitor.
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Shahid Khan Aug 24, 2023 06:24pm
Who is going to invest in our country when an officer has the spine to reject orders of head of state. This man has crossed his limits throughout and deserve an article six
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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Aug 24, 2023 06:57pm
Is Pakistan and it's brains could be called serious nation or mere circus? And you expect world will rely on you and will invest in Pakistan. What the hell this mockery of the nation CEC, puppet of 75 failed years rulers military establishment + PDM/PPP is saying President could dissolve the govt at his own and announce elections, Whereas if President dissolves NA upon PM advise or NA term expires then Chief Election Commission will decide about elections.
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Adnan Aug 24, 2023 07:08pm
He can meet American ambassador.....but can't meet president....... WOW
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Aamir Latif Aug 25, 2023 12:58am
Wish this youthia President had read constitution and changes and his own role as President under parlimentary system of govt. Instead he tried and stu try to be bigger then his shoes including his stupid acts of disapproval biased habits of sending bill to NA during PDM govt. Yet was a yes man and tame duck. in pti time. His latest proves a youthia in president house. Simply disgraceful of him
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zh Aug 25, 2023 12:59am
It is strange that the Munshi refused to meet the president of the country was meeting his master, the American Ambassador..
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Pakistani1 Aug 25, 2023 05:49am
Turning down an official request from the sitting President is rude and unethical and exposes the individual and those who are supporting him. He can meet him but not agree to his request.
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