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LHC orders ECP to conduct elections within 90 days

LHC orders ECP to conduct elections within 90 days

LHC orders ECP to conduct elections within 90 days
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  • LHC has instructed ECP to immediately issue the election schedule
  • The court ordered to conduct the polls within 90 days
  • It ordered ECP to consult with Punjab Governor on the election schedule
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The Lahore High Court (LHC) has instructed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to immediately issue the election schedule and conduct polls within the stipulated time, BOL News reported.

The court announced the reserved verdict on a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and a citizen seeking a date for elections in Punjab. The petition stated the governor had failed to fulfill his constitutional duty of announcing an election date.

Justice Jawad Hassan announced the verdict on a plea filed seeking direction to the Punjab governor for immediately announcing the date of elections in the province.

The court ordered the election commission to hold elections within 90 days. It instructed the ECP to consult with the Punjab Governor and announce the election schedule immediately.

The short order of the written verdict said the election commission should immediately give the date of the elections It said as the chief executive of the province, the governor should be consulted on announcing the election date. It should be ensured that elections are held without delay within 90 days, the order added.

PTI leaders hailed the decision and said the election commission should conduct the election. Speaking outside the court after the verdict was announced, PTI leader Hammad Azhar said there are only 65 days remaining after which there will be PTI governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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He said the government should also announce conducting elections for the National Assembly. He said the people were tired of the PDM government and holding elections were the only solution.

PTI’s leader Shahbaz Gill said the attempts to minus Imran Khan have failed and the court has provided justice. He said they will wait for the court’s long order on who is responsible for announcing the election date.

He challenged Maryam Nawaz to announce the party’s candidates for the polls. He said the government had made plans to delay the elections for over a year but now the court has given its verdict.

PTI’s Senator Ejaz Chaudhry said the Article 6 of the constitution will be applied if the election is not held within 90 days period.

Court hearing

During the hearing earlier today, Inspector General of Punjab Police Dr Usman Anwar and chief secretary appeared and assured to follow the decision of the election commission and the court’s order.

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The ECP’s counsel Shahzad Mazhar raised objections to the admissibility of the petition. He said the plea pertained to announcing the election date which was not the domain of the ECP, and neither the commission could not be made a respondent.

He contended that neither the president nor the federal government had been made respondents in the petition. He said the election date had to be given either by the governor or the president. He argued that it is not written in the Constitution that the ECP shall give the election date.

The lawyer said the ECP requires Rs14 billion for the whole electoral exercise in the province.  He pointed out that the elections of provincial and National Assembly could not be transparent if held on separate days.

Punjab governor’s lawyer Shahzad Shaukat said his client was not obligated to announce a date for the general election in the province as he had not dissolved the provincial assembly on the chief minister’s advice.

He said that the governor was bound to announce the election date only if he dissolved the assembly. He urged the court to reject the petition.

PTI’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar said it was clearly written in the Constitution that the polls should be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

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The judge asked about the criteria for the announcement of the election date. Barrister Zafar said a notification had to be issued carrying a date of the election. After hearing arguments from both parties, the court reserved the verdict on the petition.

 

 

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