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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) deserves praise for declining to act on a yet another Senate of Pakistan resolution through which the upper house of parliament had sought postponement of the general election.

The reasons enumerated in the ECP’s order, including its commitment that it expressed before the Supreme Court of Pakistan in relation to holding of general election on February 9 2024, are characterized by a great deal of plausibility and justness.

Repeatedly calling for the deferment of polls just weeks before the scheduled date, the Senate has contributed to some wild speculations about the general election in general and the future of democracy in the country in particular; in other words, it has fully exposed its purported anti-democracy agenda to the sheer chagrin of people of Pakistan.

Don’t those honorable Senators behind the resolutions seeking postponement of elections realize that ours is a system of parliamentary democracy and they are seeking to undermine the powers of lower house of parliament or National Assembly that is scheduled to re-emerge as a result of the upcoming elections.

In my view, these resolutions are essentially aimed at stalling the rebirth of the lower house or, arguably, the most important arm of parliament. Unfortunately, the upper house’s recent acts suggest that it is no longer playing a pivotal role in the country’s democracy.

In other words, it is no longer the embodiment of the will of the people. Needless to say, the upper house is always required to operate as an effective tool to resolve parliamentary stalemates in an effective and efficient manner.

How ironic, however, it is that the Senate has itself chosen to create a new political impasse in the country by calling for postponement of elections on implausible grounds. It, therefore, increasingly appears that the country’s federal safety valve is clearly malfunctioning.

Abu Adnan (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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