ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has started its preparations for holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following the Supreme Court (SC) orders, ARY News reported on Saturday.
According to sources, the election watchdog is likely to announce schedule for Punjab and KP general elections next week.
The ECP has decided not to acquire workforce from the judiciary for performing duties of District Returning Officers (DROs) and Returning Officers (ROs), they say.
Moreover, the electoral watchdog would also send letters to the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance for security and funds for the general elections in the province.
The development comes a day after President Alvi announced April 30 as the date for elections in Punjab.
“President Dr Arif Alvi has announced to hold general elections of Punjab Assembly on April 30, Sunday,” tweeted the President’s office.
“The decision was made by the president after considering the dates proposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan,” it added.
The announcement from the president comes two days after the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within 90 days.
The Supreme Court, in a 3-2 verdict, ruled on Wednesday that elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab should be held within 90 days.
CJP Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar supported the verdict, while Justice Jamal Mandokhail and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah opposed the admissibility of the suo moto notice and dissented from the majority verdict.
Justice Shah and Justice Mandokhail in their dissenting notes agreed with the position of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Athar Minallah. “The matter was already being heard in the high courts, Supreme Court cannot take suo moto notice on the undertrial cases in the high courts.”
The short verdict stated that the Election Commission of Pakistan failed in discharging its role in the election. The announcement of the election date in KP is the responsibility of the provincial governor, while the president has the authority as per law and constitution to fix the election date in Punjab.
The verdict further stated a consultation to fix the date of elections in Punjab, if they are not possible on April 9, the date announced by the president.