ECP refuses to enter into consultation with President over polls

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: In its reply to the second letter of President Arif Alvi, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Sunday refused to enter into the process of consultation with the office of the President regarding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

“Under Article 105 of the Constitution, the governor can give the date of elections for a dissolved assembly,” read the text of the ECP’s reply.

“The ECP wrote a letter to the governors of Punjab and KP in the light of the Constitution, and both of them have not yet given the date for elections,” it added.

“The matter related to the general elections in both the provinces is under hearing in different courts. The Lahore High Court (LHC) in its order had directed to consult with the Governor of Punjab,” it stated.

“The ECP officials had consulted with the Governor of Punjab, but he did not give the date for elections,” it maintained.

“The ECP also filed an intra-appeal in the LHC regarding the decision. The ECP has no constitutional or legal authority to fix the date for elections,” it stated.

“The ECP is well aware of its constitutional and legal obligations. In response to the first letter, the ECP had informed the office of the President about the entire situation,” it emphasised.

“The matter of Punjab and KP elections is currently under hearing in the courts. It is regretful to say that the ECP cannot involve the President’s House in this consultation process,” it declared.

“However, the final decision in the matter will be taken by the ECP in its meeting scheduled to be held on February 20, 2023. The office of the President is the highest constitutional body and President is the head of the state, and the ECP has the highest regard for the office of the Honourable President,” it added.

The letter had been written by the ECP secretary to the President’s House secretary.