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Monday April 22, 2024

KP Assembly polls date: KP governor, ECP officials fail to evolve consensus

KP Assembly was dissolved in mid-January and a caretaker setup was put in place

By Javed Aziz Khan
March 09, 2023
The picture shows a man casting vote in the ballot. — AFP/File
The picture shows a man casting vote in the ballot. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: No date could be finalised for the provincial assembly elections as senior officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) held a meeting with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Ghulam Ali on Wednesday.

The KP Assembly was dissolved in mid-January and a caretaker setup was put in place to hold elections for the provincial assembly. No date has so far been announced to hold the elections.

A high-level meeting was held at the KP Governor’s House on Wednesday after Ghulam Ali invited the ECP officials for a meeting to initiate a discussion on the date for the polls. “A delegation of the ECP, led by its secretary, briefed the governor that under the Constitution, he was supposed to announce a date for the polls within 90 days,” an official said.

He added that the delegation told the governor that they were supposed to discuss the date of the poll while the ECP was in contact with the caretaker government and others concerned regarding security and other arrangements for the elections.

The official said the governor informed them that he would hold a final meeting with the ECP next week on the date.

Ghulam Ali, in a letter on Monday, extended an invitation to the ECP for a meeting at the Governor’s House either on March 7 or March 8.

“The Election Commission of Pakistan is welcome to attend the office of the undersigned on March 7 or March 8 at 11 am as per convenience so that an active and meaningful consultative process could be initiated,” stated the letter by the governor. It was written in response to a communique sent by the ECP for the announcement of the election date.

The governor’s letter mentioned the verdict of the apex court in a suo moto case regarding the date for the elections, stating that the undersigned was obligated to honour it in letter and spirit.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan last week ruled that elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab should be held within 90 days.

The provincial assemblies in both provinces were dissolved in mid-January and caretaker governments were installed for the last couple of months.

The two assemblies where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was in majority were dissolved on the directives of PTI Chairman Imran Khan to force the federal government to early general elections in the country.