KP election date expected to be announced on March 6

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PESHAWAR, MAR 4: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Ghulam Ali said that the election date for the KP Assembly is expected to be announced on March 6 (Monday) when the principal secretary of the province opens the letter sent to him by the Election Commission on Pakistan (ECP).

Speaking to journalists on Saturday, the governor said that the ECP’s letter to his principal secretary was received last night at 8pm. “Secretary is on leave, he will open the letter himself when he returns on Monday.”

It should be noted that Punjab and KP assemblies were dissolved on January 14 and 18, respectively. According to the constitution, the elections should be held within 90 days after the dissolution of an assembly.

However, as the governors refused to propose a date, the issue landed in the Supreme Court (SC) which, in its verdict, directed President Arif Alvi to announce the election date for Punjab after consultation with ECP, and the KP governor to put forth an election date after consultation with the commission.

On Friday, the ECP — after holding a third consecutive meeting since the apex court’s order — sent a letter to KP Governor Ali, saying it was waiting for his response in light of the SC’s directive.

In a separate letter to President Alvi, the electoral body had recommended that the polls for the provincial assembly in Punjab be held between April 30 and May 7.

“The commission is ready to fulfil its constitutional and legal obligations after the selection of a date by the president,” the letter stated.

Later, President Alvi announced April 30 as the date for the general polls in Punjab.

The KP governor said that the president announced the date on his own, while he wished that a unanimous date would have been announced by him, President Alvi and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.

Ali further stated that he had contacted the president but he still announced the date unilaterally.

“Making the arrangements was a job of the ECP but I would give the proposed date,” the governor said, adding that the elections will be held on whichever date is available in the light of SC’s order.