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ECP challenges SC’s May 14 polls verdict

ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, the Pakistani Election Commission (ECP) requested the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to hold polls in the Punjab on May 14.

The electoral board urged with the Supreme Court in a 14-page petition to put off ruling on the May 14 judgment until the revision petition on the matter was resolved.

The ECP appeal stated that the SC should reconsider its decision because the judiciary lacks the power to set the election date.

The petitioner argued that the electoral commission would incur an irreparable damage if the judgment was not put on hold.

The ECP underlined that it is “not the mandate of superior courts under the Constitution” to determine the election’s schedule.

Gvot and PTI concur on one-day elections

Both parties agreed to hold general elections on the same day across the nation after the third round of negotiations between representatives of the ruling coalition and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came to an end late Tuesday.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry, and Senator Ali Zafar made up the three-person team representing PTI at the negotiations.

Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Azam Nazeer Tarar, and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of the PML-N, as well as Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani and Syed Naveed Qamar of the PPP, are included in the delegation of the ruling coalition.

After the meeting, the government’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told the media that a decision had been made to hold elections nationwide on the same day with a caretaker government.

The finance minister highlighted that the proposed dates for the general elections had been submitted by both parties. He remarked, adding that there is still disagreement between the parties on one item on the agenda.

Ishaq Dar added that both parties had demonstrated flexibility in the negotiations and that the delegations would confer with their respective leaders.

Political deadlock

The government had promised the Supreme Court that it would speak with the opposition about elections in two provinces on April 26.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) promised the Supreme Court during the previous hearing on the polls delay issue that they would meet with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and try to find a settlement on the election date.

In its April 4 judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that the poll Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to push out the Punjab Assembly elections till October 8 was “unconstitutional” and set a new date of May 14 as the new poll date.

Later, the National Assembly adopted a resolution rejecting the decision of the three-judge Supreme Court bench concerning the Punjab elections and declaring that it would not give money to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct elections.

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