- Spokesperson of the US State Department Matthew Miller responds to a question regarding President Dr Arif Alvi proposing November 6 as the polls date
The United States has urged Pakistan to hold “timely, free and fair” elections in line with the country’s laws.
Spokesperson of the US State Department Matthew Miller said this while responding to a question regarding President Dr Arif Alvi proposing November 6 as the polls date.
’’We urge Pakistan to hold a free and fair – free and fair and timely elections, and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
“And we urge Pakistani authorities to move forward with the electoral process in a manner consistent with Pakistan’s laws, as we do with countries around the world,’’ Miller replied.
On Wednesday, President Alvi proposed November 6 as the date for elections in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.
The president cited Article 48(5) of the Constitution as giving him the authority and mandate to “designate a date not later than ninety days from the date of the dissolution, for the holding of a general election to the Assembly.”
Accordingly, “in terms of Article 48(5), the general election to the National Assembly should be held by the 89th day of the date of dissolution of the National Assembly, i.e. Monday, 6th day of November 2023”, the letter read.
In the letter, the president noted that “the chief election commissioner was invited to a meeting to devise the modalities of implementing the constitutional intent and mandate” in order to “fulfill the constitutional obligations.”
Earlier this week, Miller said the US does not support any political party in Pakistan nor take any position with respect to the outcome of an election in Pakistan.
Miller said this in response to a question regarding US Ambassador Donald Blome’s meeting with the CEC.
“So I will refer you to the embassy for specific comment on that meeting, which I’m sure they would be happy to provide.
“But I think I see where you’re going with the question, and so I will reiterate what I’ve said a number of times, which is that the United States does not take any position with respect to the outcome of an election in Pakistan.”
Miller further said that though the US does not support any one political party or any candidate in Pakistan, it urges free and fair elections in Pakistan, as “it does throughout the world”.
Ambassador Blome’s meeting with the CEC was held at a time when uncertainty shrouds the holding of timely elections following the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s decision to go ahead with the delimitation exercise before the next polls.