Alvi announces April 30 polls date in Punjab

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): President Dr Arif Alvi pronounced April 30 as the date for holding elections in Punjab after receiving possible poll dates from Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday.
The president announced the date after considering the dates proposed by the ECP. The electoral body had proposed a poll date between April 30 to May 7, 2023, for holding general elections of the provincial assembly of Punjab, and had further suggested holding elections preferably on a Sunday.
Earlier, the ECP formally began the process of holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it separately wrote letters to President Dr Arif Alvi and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Haji Ghulam Ali, requesting them to decide dates for elections in the provinces in wake of recently announced verdict of the Supreme Court.
Through the letter to President Alvi, the ECP has suggested that the president may choose a date between April 30 to May 7, 2023 – right after Eid – saying the commission would be ready to perform its constitutional and legal duties when the poll date is finalised. It has been described in an official statement of the ECP that it has sent a letter to the president in the light of the decision of the Supreme Court in which the dates for holding elections in Punjab province have been suggested from April 30 to May 7, 2023. After the president chooses a date, the letter read, “Election Commission is ready to perform its constitutional and legal duties.”
The ECP has also sent a letter to governor KP. While referring to the top court’s order, the national poll body has stated that “the Election Commission is waiting for your response”. According to a statement the ECP took the decision to send letters to the president and governor KP during a meeting under the chair of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja at the ECP on Friday. Members of the ECP and senior officers also attended the meeting.
It is pertinent to mention that during the past two weeks, the political stalemate had turned into a significant constitutional crisis, especially, when President Dr Alvi announced the date for elections in two provinces as his decision was called “unconstitutional” in the National Assembly within the next few hours. It has been reported that the hard stance taken by all the mainstream political parties on holding elections in the provinces had pushed the country into a constitutional crisis at a time when the country is already facing a high risk of default.