‘Courts won’t grant stay against holding elections on Feb 8’

December 08, 2023

Caretaker federal information and broadcasting minister Murtaza Solangi on Thursday said that no one should remain under any false assumption that the courts are going to grant a stay against the holding of the general elections on the announced date of February 8.

“It is the constitutional duty only of the election commission, not of any court or the interim government, to hold elections in the country. We are here just for the facilitation while staying at the back,” said Solangi while speaking at a press conference at the Sindh Assembly.

Caretaker Federal Information Minister, Murtaza Solangi and Caretaker Sindh Information Minister, Ahmad Shah are addressing media persons during a press conference at Sindh Assembly Committee Room in Karachi, December 7, 2023. — PPI

He was answering a question as to whether or not the prolonged hearing of any poll-related petition by the superior courts could jeopardise the holding of the elections on the announced date of February 8. “No, this is not going to happen, and no one should assume such a possibility.”

At the outset of his press conference, the interim information minister said that no one should remain under any doubt that the holding of the general elections would be delayed on any pretext.

He assured the journalists that the incumbent caretaker government would provide the best administrative, financial and security facilitation to the election commission to hold the polls.

Answering another question, Solangi said the interim administration is fully aware of the security issues that can affect the upcoming polls, and the government takes these challenges seriously.

“But at the same time, I would inform you that the security environment was not ideal when the 2008 and the 2013 general elections were held in the country, but the polls were held despite these challenges.”

He said the caretaker government would do its best to ensure that the affairs of the country are in a better position at the time of transferring power to the newly elected assembly and government after the polls. He said that since coming into power, the interim government has gradually improved the country’s affairs.

Solangi said that democratically elected federal and provincial governments, according to the mandate given in the constitution, are only authorised to make major decisions related to governance, economy, foreign policy, local government, etc.

He said that the power would be duly transferred in the Centre and provinces, as given in the constitution, to the political parties chosen by the people to rule the country.

He told the media that the interim federal and provincial governments would soon devise a joint communication strategy for the effective flow of credible governance and poll-related information to the masses.

He congratulated the newly appointed Sindh caretaker information minister Muhammad Ahmed Shah, who was present with him on the occasion, and praised his services as the Karachi president of the Arts Council of Pakistan.

Shah said that a separate briefing would be held for the media about the state of preparedness of government school buildings, which would be utilised as polling stations for the upcoming polls. He said the interim provincial education minister would brief the media about the issue.