Pakistan President Alvi announces Punjab and KP elections on April 9

Ruling party leaders reject move, say elections can’t be held on president’s directives


  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Mon 20 Feb 2023, 11:38 PM

Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Monday unilaterally announced April 9 as the date for holding elections for Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assemblies, a move rejected by parties of the ruling alliance , saying polls cannot be held on the president’s directives.

The provincial assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were dissolved on January 14 and January 18, respectively, before the expiry of their mandated five-year terms on the orders of former prime minister Imran Khan.

According to the Constitution, elections have to be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the assembly.

Alvi, who is the member of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, said he “felt it necessary to perform his constitutional and statutory duty to announce the date of elections to avoid the infringement and breach of the Constitution and law of holding of elections not later than ninety days”.

In a statement, the President’s Secretariat said Alvi made the announcement based on relevant section of Pakistan's Constitution.

President Alvi criticised Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman and KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali for “not performing their constitutional duties of appointing a date not later than ninety days from the date of dissolution” of the provincial assemblies.

He also criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for “not fulfilling its constitutional obligation for holding polls” of the assemblies concerned.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Talal Chaudhary told Geo News that “election cannot — and will not — be held on the president’s directives”. Federal Minister for Planning and Development and senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal said "it is the prerogative of the ECP" and not the president to announce a date for the elections.

The dissolution of the two provincial assemblies was seen as a bid by Khan to push for early national elections in the country.

The former prime minister has been demanding fresh polls ever since he was ousted from the power through a no-confidence motion in April 2022.

More news from World