Pakistan

Punjab suggests scheduling the PA and NA by-elections for the same day.

Punjab suggests scheduling the PA and NA by-elections for the same day.

Islamabad: In order to save money and provide complete security, Punjab has requested that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) hold by-elections for the Punjab Assembly (PA) and National Assembly (NA) on the same day.

During a presentation on the Punjab Assembly elections to the ECP meeting, which was presided over by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman said that holding elections on different days would not only double election costs but also make it more challenging for law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to provide foolproof security.

According to the provincial chief secretary, administrative staff, police officers, and teachers all have obligations during the election, and they will also have obligations during the census.

Likewise, Punjab Inspector General (IG) Dr. Usman Anwar advised the ECP that holding polls in the province would be a “tough task” until a police operation against militants, which was anticipated to be finished in four to five months, was over.

Last week, after several well-armed members of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacked a police station in the area in the middle of the night, the Punjab police began a massive counterterrorism operation in the difficult-to-reach steep areas of the Mianwali district.

Election dates for the Punjab and KP assemblies are to be “quickly announced,” under President Alvi’s directive.

To stop “dangerous speculative propaganda” against the impending province elections as well as the future general elections, Dr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan, has ordered the ECP to “quickly” declare the poll date for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab assemblies.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), President Alvi discussed the dissolution of the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and stated that Article 224(2) of the Constitution, which emphasized the holding of elections in 90 days, required the election of an Assembly to take place within 90 days of the dissolution.

According to PART VIII of the Constitution, in particular Article 218 (3), which charged the ECP with ensuring the holding of fair and free elections, the conduct and holding of elections was the ECP’s primary and fundamental task.

He made it clear that the Commission would ultimately be held accountable for any violations of the nation’s Constitution if it did not carry out its tasks and obligations.

The President emphasized that, as Head of State, it was his duty “to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution,” citing Article 42 and the Third Schedule.

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