Chief Election Commissioner declines to meet President on election date
Says after NA dissolution under Article 58-A it was ECP’s prerogative to set vote date
By News Desk
August 24, 2023 02:50 PM
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja on Thursday decided not to meet President Dr Arif Alvi for consultations over setting a date for the general elections, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) held in Islamabad with the CEC in the chair.
In a letter to the president, CEC Raja wrote that his legal team had told him that under the amended Election Act, it was not mandatory for him to meet the head of the state for setting the date for elections.
The president was told that since he had dissolved the National Assembly under Article 58-A of the constitution, and not under article 58 (2-B), it was the ECP’s power to announce the elections’ date.
The chief election commissioner went on to say that since amendment had also been made to section 57 of the Election Act, the authority to give date for elections was now the sole prerogative of the ECP.
On Wednesday, President Dr Arif Alvi had penned down a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja in which he invited him to a meeting to fix an appropriate date for the general elections.
In the letter, the president said since the National Assembly was dissolved on August 9; therefore, under Article 48 (5) of the constitution, he was obliged to fix date not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution for the holding of general elections.
Reporter: Usman Khan