ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Law on Wednesday told President Arif Alvi that he has no role in the announcement of date for general elections “following the amendment in Elections Act, Daily Relation Times  reported.

The law ministry has forwarded its response to President Alvi’s letter, seeking opinion on Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) stance that “only it had the authority to decide the election date”.

In the letter, the Law ministry said that the right of announcing the date of election rests with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

“According to Article 48(5) of the Constitution, where the National Assem­bly is dissolved y the President, he shall appoint a date for election and appoint a caretaker cabinet in accordance with the provision of Article 224 or as the case may be under Article 224-A,” the ministry said in the letter.

Under Article 58, the letter noted, the President shall act on and in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister and such advice shall be binding on him. “An advice sent under Article 58a shall take effect within 48 hours”, it added.

The ministry further said that the system will witness a distortion if President’s authority to give election date is accepted. “The purpose of amending the Election Act was a single authority can give date of elections,” it added.

The development came after Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja responded to President Alvi’s letter for meeting to “fix an appropriate date” for general elections, saying that participating in such a meeting would be of “scant importance” after changes to the election law.

The president had written to Sikandar Raja Sultan, inviting him for a meeting regarding holding general elections in the country.

In his letter, President Alvi quoted Article 244 of the Constitution, saying he was duty-bound to get the elections conducted in the 90 days’ prescribed period once the National Assembly is dissolved prematurely.

Responding to the latter, ECP CEC said it was “imperative” to point out that Section 57 of the Elections Act had been amended due to an act of Parliament, which had empowered the commission to “announce the date or dates for the general elections”.

 

“Where the president dissolves the National Assembly, in his discretion, as provided in Article 58(2) read with Article 48(5) of the Constitution then he has to appoint a date for the general elections. However, if the assembly is dissolved on the advice of the prime minister or by afflux of time as provided in Article 58(1) of the Constitution, then the commission understands and believes that power to appoint a date or dates for elections rests exclusively with the Commission.

 

CEC Raja said that the delimitation of constituencies, after the approval of the digital census, was one of the “foundational legal steps” towards holding polls.

He further said that the ECP was taking its responsibility of holding general elections in the country “very seriously” and had also invited major political parties to give their views on the electoral map.

Earlier, it was reported that the ECP decided to hold general elections in the second week of February 2024.

Sources privy to the development told ARY News that the election commission is likely to issue general elections schedule after December 2023. “The election schedule will be issued 54 days after the completion of the delimitation process,” said sources with ECP.


Load More Related Articles
Load More By RelationsTimes
Load More In Latest News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

E-Paper 16th. of April 2024