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Petition against delay in elections; PHC seeks reply from ECP

December 06, 2023

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday sought reply from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a writ petition filed for not holding general elections within three months-time

The writ petition was filed by Naeem Ahmad Advocate through Ali Azeem Advocate. The chief election commissioner, members of the ECP and secretary for the Supreme Judicial Council were made a party.

A two-member bench of the PHC consisting of Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Syed Arshad Ali heard the petition.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) sign board. — AFP/File
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) sign board. — AFP/File

Ali Azeem Advocate appeared for the petitioner while Mohsin Kamran Siddique represented the ECP.

The petitioner contended that the ECP had issued a press release on August 17, this year, and contended that holding elections in three months was not possible as a fresh delimitation process was in progress which would continue till December.

The petitioner took the plea that elections should be held three months after the dissolution of the assembly as per Constitution.

He said that holding elections within the time as specified by the Constitution was a constitutional requirement but the ballot was facing a delay on various pretexts.

The petitioner contended that there were some factors behind the move trying to sabotage this constitutional requirement. He sought action against the ECP and its members.

The court was informed that though the ECP had set February 8, 2024 as the election date but no schedule had been issued for the same. The ECP counsel submitted to the court that the election schedule was issued 45 days before the election date. Hence time was left for that.

Mohsin Kamran Siddique argued that the petitioner had opposed the new delimitations and called for holding the general elections. He said as the fresh limitations had been completed and date for the elections announced, hence the petition had become infructuous.