Voice News

No funds provided for elections: ECP informs SC

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has submitted a report to the Supreme Court, claiming that it has yet to receive funding for the Rs21 billion required to hold polls for the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies.

Though the full contents of the new report are unknown, the two-page response has explained the latest situation regarding the commission’s lack of funds.

Earlier on April 18, the commission filed a petition with the court claiming that staggered elections for the Punjab and KPK assemblies were not practicable due to significantly higher costs than holding the elections on a single day.

That report was filed in accordance with the court’s April 14 orders, in which the commission stated that an already depleted security apparatus would necessitate weeks of planning.

The ECP also stated that staggered elections could lead to an upsurge in violence since the losing party in one seat would likely incite violence in another constituency in the next phase to compensate for the perceived loss.

The ECP had believed that rigging would enhance the chances of influencing outcomes in the following phase, and that staggered polls would increase the likelihood of violence since outlaws would have more opportunities to plot and carry out attacks than the one-day limited window of opportunity.

Furthermore, it was stated that the police and other law enforcement agencies were conducting intelligence-based operations in Punjab. Their nomination to election duties would put terrorists’ electoral actions at risk, potentially leading to a relapse into terrorism.

Furthermore, the ECP emphasized that the current polarization requires party consensus to bring the political temperature down. Political polarization can have a triggering effect during elections, leading to violence and increasing the risk to people’s safety.

The group stated that it was critical to establish some guidelines and red lines to promote tolerance and balance among competing political parties and candidates.

However, a three-judge Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial had described the ECP’s earlier report as an attempt to restore the date for general elections to Oct 8, which had already been set aside by the court in its April 4 order, which set May 14 as the new date for holding elections.

The April 19 decision stated that ECP requests the restoration of the October 8 date on primarily security grounds, which mostly align with the issues raised in the military ministry’s assessment.

“In our view, the commission seeks, under the guise of a representation, to re-agitate matters that were before the Court when CP 5/2023 was heard and decided, and in which two fully instructed counsel were permitted to make submissions on its behalf,” the court said in its order.

The court, which included Justices Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Munib Akhtar, ruled that it was illegal to reconsider problems and questions that had already been decided. According to the court, the representation is not viable, and the ECP report is disposed of accordingly.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *