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Saturday, May 25, 2024  
16 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

PTI to challenge election delay before Supreme Court today

Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry say the petition will be filed tomorrow
Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry address a press conference in Lahore on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry address a press conference in Lahore on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has said that it will challenge the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to postpone Punjab elections until October before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A petition will be filed on Friday (today), the party leaders said.

The announcement coincided with a Supreme Court Bar Association(SCBA) statement condemning the ECP move.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Bandial has already said that the apex court would interfere if malafide intent was proven in the conduct of general elections.

PTI’s Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry held a press conference on Thursday in Lahore.

Umar said the decision to move the Punjab election from April 30 to October 8 violated the constitution and held the ECP in contempt of Supreme Court which earlier this month instructed the electoral body to hold elections within the 90 day period counting from the day Punjab Assembly was dissolved.

Asad Umar claimed that the ECP had no authority to fix an election date. PTI counsel Ali Zafar was drafting a petition which would be filed on Friday, said Fawad Chaudhry.

Umar said PTI was going to plead with the top court to hold the election on April 30, the date set by the ECP and President Alvi.

What the government says

The government, meanwhile, has maintained that the postponement of the election was not against the law or the constitution. The April 30 date also falls beyond the 90 days period, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar said that the constitutions dictated provincial and national assemblies must go to polls on the same day for general elections. This has been the case since 1947, he claimed.

In 1992, the caretaker setup in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remained in place for five months, the law minister argued.

SCBA condemns ECP decision

The Supreme Court Bar Association, meanwhile, has issued a statement to condemn the ECP move.

The bar said ECP abrogated the constitution by postponing the elections till October as it was not authorized to change the date of the elections under any circumstances.

The Election Commission violated its constitutional mandate and the order of the Supreme Court, it said.

A caretaker government cannot work beyond the 90-day period stipulated in the constitution, the statement added.

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