ISLAMABAD: As the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced that general elections in the country will take place in the last week of January 2024, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), on Thursday said that the party will challenge the top electoral body’s decision in the court.
Senator Saifullah Niazi, a senior PTI leader, said that the party has decided to challenge the ECP’s decision to conduct elections in the last week of January.
Niazi, who is also a member of the PTI’s core committee, said that the Constitution calls for elections within 90 days and exceeding the period is unlawful.
“We’ll certainly challenge the ECP’s decision. The way the ECP is working it does not look like a constitutional body,” Niazi said, adding that President Dr Arif Alvi has the authority to announce a date for polls.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued here, a PTI spokesman said that “the ECP’s announcement without giving a cut-off date for election and just saying that elections would be held in last week of January 2024 is quite surprising.”
“Instead of announcing a cut-off date, just announcing the month is beyond comprehension,” he lamented, adding, “Any schedule beyond 90 days after the dissolution of assemblies, by the ECP will be unconstitutional as it’s [ECP] is bound to hold elections within 90 days as defined in the constitution,” he added.
He continued that the matter of holding elections within 90 days is already pending before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, adding the nation will not accept any decision of holding elections by the ECP beyond 90 days as the court is also set to decide the matter.
He said that all these tactics are being used to push the biggest political party – the PTI – against the wall, which is not going to work, as political victimisation will further destabilise the country.
He maintained that free and fair elections within 90 days as declared in the constitution must be ensured to steer the country out of the prevailing political and economic crises.
“There is no other solution except holding free and fair elections within 90 days if we’re serious about resolving the issues confronting the country,” he added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023