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Tuesday July 23, 2024

President Alvi summons ECP chief for 'urgent meeting'

President Alvi expresses displeasure over ECP’s “poignant approach” regarding general elections date

By Nausheen Yusuf
February 17, 2023
President Dr Arif Alvi addressing a joint session of the parliament in this undated picture. — PID
President Dr Arif Alvi addressing a joint session of the parliament in this undated picture. — PID

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday invited Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja for an "urgent meeting' on February 20 (Monday) for consultation regarding the election date.

According to a statement issued by the President's Secretariat, the meeting will be held at Aiwan-e-Sadr as President Alvi wants to consult the election commissioner in terms of Section 57(1) of the Elections Act, 2017, which provides that the President shall announce the date or dates of the general elections after consultation with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A day earlier, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Central General Secretary Asad Umar mentioned the party's intention to urge President Alvi — who is also a member of the party — to exercise his constitutional powers to resolve the current crisis by giving an election date under the Article 57(1) of the Elections Act 2017.

In his letter to the CEC, the president said that since his letter dated February 8, some substantial developments (including the judgment of the Lahore High Court and recent observations of the Supreme Court) had taken place, expressing displeasure over the apathy and inaction on the part of the ECP that didn’t respond to his earlier letter as yet.

President Alvi further stated that he had waited anxiously that the commission would realise its constitutional duties to proceed and act accordingly, but he was “extremely dismayed” by ECP’s “poignant approach” on this important matter.

In his letter, the president once again reminded the ECP that being conscious of his constitutional responsibility of preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution, he was inviting CEC for an urgent meeting on February 20 at his office to consult on the date or dates of the general elections.

The PTI resigned en masse in April last year after the ouster of Imran Khan as the prime minister. While the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government ruled out holding general polls in the country before August, the PTI is insisting that the ongoing political turmoil can only be resolved through snap elections.