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ECP meets today to discuss Supreme Court election ruling

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will meet today to deliberate on the Supreme Court ruling that declared the ECP’s order to postpone elections in Punjab “unconstitutional.”

The ECP has called an emergency meeting today to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision.

The meeting will begin at 11 a.m. at the ECP Secretariat, with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja presiding.

It was learned that the forum intended to devise a strategy in light of the Supreme Court order.

“The commission will take a close look at the Supreme Court order from all angles, and what exactly are the directions and proposals, if any,” a senior official with the electoral body told the publication.

He stated that the commission’s election schedule for the general election of the Punjab Assembly would also be discussed.

The Supreme Court has ordered those elections to be held in Punjab on May 14.

The Supreme Court overturned the ECP’s decision on Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) elections on Tuesday.

The decision was announced in open court by a three-member SC bench consisting of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar, and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, who declared the ECP’s decision to hold elections on October 8 as unconstitutional.

The court ordered the ECP to reinstate its previous election schedule, which had been extended by 13 days.

The court stated that the ECP could not go beyond the 90-day time limit and that 13 days were wasted as a result of the ECP’s illegal decision.

The Supreme Court also ordered the Punjab caretaker government to assist the ECP and instructed the commission to notify it if the government refused.

The election commission’s constitution and laws, it added, did not allow for a date extension.

Candidates will be able to submit nomination papers beginning April 10, the electoral body will publish the list of candidates on April 19, and electoral symbols will be issued by April 20.

The court also ordered the government to release Rs 21 billion for Punjab elections by April 10 and directed the ECP to submit a report on the matter to the court on the same day. The court will issue an appropriate order if funds are not provided, it added.

The Prime Minister has called the Supreme Court ruling a “murder of justice.”

The Prime Minister has called the Supreme Court ruling a “murder of justice.”

In his reaction, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif equated the judicial murder of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto with the Supreme Court verdict, saying it was ironic that the ex-premier was judicially murdered on April 4 and justice was “murdered” on the same day.

Speaking in the National Assembly, the prime minister stated that the cabinet meeting had demanded that the judicial murder of the late premier, which had been pending for the past 12 years, be taken up and decided by the full court.

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