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Fixing Punjab, KP polls date: ECP says can’t be part of consultation with president

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ECP says it may not be able to enter into a consultation process due to the “matter being subjudice at various judicial fora”. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Sunday ‘regretted’ the invitation from President Dr Arif Alvi to be a part of consultation process with regard to fixing the date of general polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“It is clarified that the Constitution does not empower the Election Commission to appoint a poll date in case of dissolution of a provincial assembly by the governor or due to afflux of time as provided in Article 112(1) of the Constitution,” the ECP secretary said in the letter. ECP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan wrote a letter to the president in response to his communication of February 17. He detailed various reasons, including the matter being under judicial review. However, he wrote that the final decision in the matter will be taken by the commission in its meeting scheduled to be held on February 20 (today).
Already, in his letter, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja wrote to the president a day earlier that he expected from him (Alvi) better choice of words while addressing other constitutional institutions.
The CEC also explained to the president that he had no role in the announcement of dates for general elections to provincial assemblies and that the ECP was aware of its constitutional obligation in this regard.