PM calls Alvi’s poll date move ‘unconstitutional’ – 23 Feb 2023

Shehbaz says will write a letter to president on the matter

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that President Arif Alvi had taken an “unconstitutional step” by announcing the dates for provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa elections.

On Monday, President Alvi had pushed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to holding polls for Punjab and K-P, unilaterally setting April 9 as the date of the vote.

In a letter to the chief election commissioner, the president said he was under oath to preserve and protect the Constitution and there was no impediment in invoking his power and authority to announce the date of the polls after consulting the ECP.

Addressing a joint news conference after the cabinet meeting, the premier maintained that the president did not have the constitutional authority to give the date for polls of provincial assemblies.

“The president has violated the Constitution by giving the election date for [the provincial assemblies of] Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa for which I will write him a letter,” he said.

Meanwhile, the meeting of the ECP ended inconclusively for the second consecutive day as it could not reach a final decision on holding polls in Punjab and K-P as per the dates given by the president.

The election supervisor sought an opinion from AGP Shehzad Atta Elahi in writing on the matter and also asked constitutional and legal experts Shah Khawar and Sajeel Swati to give their advice.

The polls supervisory body will again meet on Thursday (today) after receiving the opinions.

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