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Governor Ghulam proposes ECP to postpone KP elections

Like Punjab, elections in KP should also be held on October 8, says Haji Ghulam Ali
KP Governor Ghulam Ali’s proposal to postpone elections | Aaj News

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections should also be held on October 8, governor Haji Ghulam Ali proposed to the country’s top electoral authority on Friday.

“Since ECP has postponed the election date for the general elections of Punjab province to 08 October 2023, therefore, it is also suggested that the same 08 October 2023 be postponed/appointed as the election date for General Elections of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the best public interest as well as in the interest of the state,” he said in a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The announcement comes two days after the ECP delayed the Punjab elections from April 30 to October 8 despite the Supreme Court’s ruling to conduct polls within 90 days after the dissolution of the provincial assembly.

It was not possible to hold elections fairly in a peaceful manner and in accordance with the constitution and law, the ECP said in its order on Wednesday. The PTI has slammed the electoral body and decided to challenge it in the apex court.

The reasons mentioned by the ECP in its order were already presented before the apex court in the suo motu case over delay in Punjab and KP polls, Shoaib Shaheen, former president of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association, told Aaj News on Thursday.

Earlier, the KP governor proposed May 28 date for provincial elections to the ECP while expressing his concerns about the law and order situation in the province.

Ghulam in his Friday letter also mentioned the recent wave of terrorism in the province to support his recommendation.

Read: Explainer: Why delaying elections until October matters so much

“Fresh wave of terrorist activities had taken place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on a daily basis,” he wrote and mentioned the attacks of security forces this month.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was dissolved on January 18 and elections were constitutionally mandated to be held within 90 days. But, the delay in the pronouncement of the date prompted the apex court to take a suo motu notice.

The Supreme Court ruled that the governor would give the date, however, if he failed then the president can give the date.

The ruling coalition has defended the ECP’s decision amid criticism from many experts. Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar has supported Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s suggestion to have simultaneous elections in the country.

Power Minister Khurram Dastgir also spoke in the same vein on Thursday at Asma Shirazi show Faisal Aap Ka.

“It is written in the Constitution that after Allah, the rule belongs to the elected representatives, not judges or any other institution,” he had said.

The government was trying to hold polls in October, he said, adding that the census issue was important to the elections. “It won’t be fair that elections are held in two provinces on old census results.”

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