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''Date announced, the ball is now in ECP's court''

The Election Commission has to prepare for the elections now because the date has been given, so schedule the election as soon as possible and start the preparations, says advocate Babar Khan

by TNN Editor - 15 Mar, 2023 1513
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Usman Danish

Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Haji Ghulam Ali has announced May 28 as the date for general elections in the province.

Earlier, on Tuesday, the governor held a meeting with the Election Commission officials in Islamabad, where he proposed May 28 as the election date to the Election Commission.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan, in the suo moto notice case, had ordered to ensure the provincial assembly election in accordance with the constitution. And President Arif Alvi had already announced the elections in Punjab on April 30 after consulting the Election Commission.

Is the election date according to the decision of the Supreme Court?

Supreme Court lawyer, advocate Babar Khan Yousafzai termed the announcement of the election date by the governor in the province as auspicious and said that for many days people were suffering from confusion regarding the election, now that the governor has given the date, the ball is in the Election Commission’s court.

Also Read: PDM decides not to contest KP by-elections

He said, the Election Commission has to prepare for the elections now because the date has been given, so schedule the election as soon as possible and start the preparations.

Babar Khan pointed to the SC's decision and said that the SC had ordered to hold elections within 90 days, but it was not clear whether the election would be held 90 days after the dissolution of the Assembly or ninety days after the SC’s decision was announced.

He said that for elections, the Election Commission needs more than 50 days to complete its preparation, while political parties also need time to deliver their manifesto to the people by organizing meetings and conducting door-to-door campaigns.

Babar said, now all the responsibility is on the Election Commission as to how they prepare for the elections because the Election Commission has to fulfill the security arrangements, funds, and other requirements for conducting transparent elections.

On the other hand, Waseem Ahmad Shah, a court reporter based in Peshawar, told TNN that when the suo moto notice case was being heard, the government made it clear that it is not possible to hold the election in 90 days. And that's why the Supreme Court has also shown some flexibility in its decision.

In its decision, the Supreme Court ruled that try to ensure the elections in 90 days, but if it is not possible to hold the elections in 90 days, then a date closer to the deadline should be given soon.

Waseem said, apparently it is getting late, but now that the governor has announced the date, it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to decide how it should be done, while according to the governor, the problem of law and order is also prevalent in the province.

He said that if we talk about law and order, the law and order situation was worse in 2008 because Benazir Bhutto was martyred in those days, but elections were held after a few months, while the security situation at the time of elections in 2013 was also not better but still the elections were held on time.