Pak Prez announces Punjab and K-P elections on 9April


Pakistan President ArifAlvi on Monday unilaterally announced April 9 as the date for holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, a move slammed by parties of the ruling alliance which asserted that the polls cannot be held on the President’s directives.
The provincial assemblies in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were dissolved on January 14 and January 18 respectively, before the expiry of their mandated five-year terms on the orders of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.
According to the Constitution, elections have to be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the assembly.
Alvi, who is a member of Khan’s party, said he “felt it necessary to perform his constitutional and statutory duty to announce the date of elections to avoid the infringement and breach of the Constitution and law of holding of elections not later than ninety days”.
The President Secretariat’s Press Wing said Alvi made the announcement based on a relevant section of Pakistan’s Constitution.President Alvi criticised Punjab Governor BalighurRehman and KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali for “not performing their constitutional duties of appointing a date not later than ninety days from the date of dissolution” of the provincial assemblies.
He also criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for “not fulfilling its constitutional obligation for holding polls” of the assemblies concerned.
As expected, the leaders of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government rejected the decision by President Alvi to hold the election of the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on April 9.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif led the barrage of attacks when he said in the parliament that President Alvi has no role in provincial elections.
“The president is transgressing his authority by giving election dates for provincial assembly polls. What role does he have in provincial elections?” the minister asked.
He added that the president was working as a worker of PTI instead of playing his role as the president.
“It is our history and many ‘Number 2’ people have been appointed to such ‘Number 1’ roles,” he said and warned that the parliament reserves the right to “move legally according to the constitution against such transgressions”.