“If polls were held on April 30, assemblies in Punjab and KP would have ended six months ago,” says minister
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb Wednesday said the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone polls in Punjab is in Pakistan’s interest and will guarantee political stability in the country.
The electoral authority, a day earlier, announced postponement of elections in Punjab to October 8. The elections were to be held in the province on April 30, afterPresident Arif Alvi — in consultation with the ECP — announced the date in light of the Supreme Court’s split ruling last month.
While quoting its responsibility towards ensuring fair elections in the country, the election organising authority in its notification recounted its various endeavours in trying to ensure that the commission carried out its responsibilities diligently.
“The election commission has taken the decision after consulting all stakeholders. The ECP took the decision after considering the economic, political and security situation,” she said in a statement.
Aurangzeb said that the commission, under Article 218 of the Constitution, has to ensure that transparent, impartial and fair elections are held in the country.
On the other hands, she added that Article 224 requires that there be caretaker governments in the federal capital and provincial units at the time of elections; however, when the National Assembly’s polls takes place, governments will be established in two provinces.
Aurangzeb also asserted that the elections would have remained controversial forever if held in the two provinces on the aforementioned date.
“If the elections were held on April 30, the assemblies in Punjab and KP would have ended six months ago,” the minister said, adding that the electoral body has saved the Pakistan from a major constitutional crisis with its decision.
Aurangzeb mentioned that the census is ongoing in Pakistan. She added that it is not possible for the polls to be held in Punjab and KP before the census, and later in other provinces.
Censuring Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, the information minister said the Constitution cannot function on one person’s will.
“He can violate the Constitution whenever he wants and dissolve the assembly as he wills — this won’t work,” the minister — who is also a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader — said.
She slammed him for assaulting the police, attack the ECP, and vandalising on the court.
“There were reservations that forced elections were being imposed on two provinces due to the ego of one man,” Aurangzeb said.