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Pak’s top election official refuses to meet President over poll dates issue


President Arif Alvi

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It is “obligatory” to point out that Section 57 of the Electoral Act was amended by Parliament on June 26, Raza wrote, giving the ECP the right to “announce the date or dates of general elections”. The country is taking its responsibility of conducting general elections “very seriously” and has also invited major political parties to give their views on the elections. Visibly hurt by the letter, Alvi took to social media and said that he had sought advice from the Law Ministry on the ECP chief’s letter. In a statement on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), he said: “The President has sought advice on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s stand that it alone has the authority to decide the date of the election.

Pakistan’s top election official on Thursday declined an invitation from President Arif Alvi for a meeting to decide the date for general elections. The returning officer said that under the amended law, the head of state has no role in deciding the date of the poll and there is no point in discussing it. The President on Wednesday wrote to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raza inviting him to meet “today or tomorrow to fix a suitable date” for the general elections. Alvi cited the constitutional requirement for the President to fix a date for the general election within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly. The National Assembly was dissolved on 9 August, making it mandatory for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections within 90 days of that date.

The ECP, however, is ready to delay the elections to carry out delimitation in view of the new census, which is a constitutional requirement. Raza, after consulting with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials, wrote to the President reminding him that under the changed laws, Alvi had no role in setting the date of the election and there was no point in holding the meeting. Alvi (74) was a senior member of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party before assuming office.

Raza wrote, it is “obligatory” to point out that Section 57 of the Electoral Act was amended by Parliament on June 26, giving the ECP the right to “announce the date or dates of general elections”.He said that the ECP is taking its responsibility of conducting general elections in the country “very seriously” and also invited major political parties to give their views on the elections. Visibly hurt by the letter, Alvi took to social media and said he had sought advice from the Law Ministry on the ECP chief’s letter. In a statement on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), he said: “The President has sought advice on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s stand that only it has the authority to decide the date of the election.

Disclaimer: Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.



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