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President Alvi announces polls in Punjab, KP will be held on April 9

ISLAMABAD (A1TV NEWS)President Arif Alvi announced on Monday that elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be held on April 9. 

The date is being seen as symbolic by many as Imran Khan’s government was removed on this very date one year ago. 

In a decision under Section 57 (1) of Elections Act 2017, the president asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to issue the election programme in accordance with Section 57 (2) of the Act.

In his letter to the chief election commissioner, the president said he was under oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan under Article 42 read with third Schedule of the Constitution. He wrote that there being no restraining order from any of the judicial fora, there was no impediment to invoking the power and authority vested in him under Section 57 (1) of Elections Act 2017, empowering him to “announce the date or dates of the general elections after consultation with the Commission”.

Therefore, the president said, he had 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 i.e., holding of elections not later than 90 days. 

President Alvi said the governors of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were not performing their constitutional duties for appointing a date, not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution of provincial assemblies as per the Constitution of Pakistan. He added that the ECP was also not fulfilling its constitutional obligation of holding polls for the assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Both the constitutional offices are placing the ball in each other’s court, resulting in delay and creating a serious danger that constitutional provisions may be violated,” he said.

The president pointed out that the ECP had already indicated the possible dates of elections in its various communications to the constitutional functionaries showing its own responsibility of holding the elections within 90 days. He stated that he had initiated a serious consultation process with the ECP under Section 57 (1) of the Elections Act 2017 to announce the date for the elections of the aforementioned assemblies, however, the ECP replied that the commission could not participate in a meeting on the subject matter with the Office of the President.

He said that in the exercise of powers conferred upon him under Section 57 (1) of the Elections Act 2017, he was announcing the date of April 9, 2023 for holding elections of the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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