Monday, President Dr. Arif Alvi announced, per Section 57 (1) of the Elections Act, 2017, that the general elections of the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) would be held on Sunday, April 9, 2023.
According to Section 57(2) of the Act, he also requested that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) publish an election program.
In a letter to CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja, the President of Pakistan swore to protect, defend, and uphold the Constitution of Pakistan. He did this by citing Article 42 read with the Third Schedule.
Since no court had issued a temporary restraining order. The president used his power under Section 57 (1) of the Elections Act. 2017 to “announce the date or dates of the general elections after consultation with the Commission.”
So, he continued, in order to prevent the violation and breach of the Constitution and law, i.e., the holding of elections. Later than ninety days, he had felt it necessary to carry out. This constitutional and statutory duty to announce the date of elections.
The president also said that the group in charge of running elections was not doing its job. And that the governors of Punjab and K-P were not setting a date as required by the constitution.
He warned that there was a serious risk that constitutional provisions could be violated. Because “both the constitutional offices are placing the ball in each other’s court.”
President Arif Alvi noted that the ECP had already provided potential election dates in its various communications. To constitutional functionaries, demonstrating their own responsibility for holding the elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.
On Friday, President Alvi reportedly asked the CEC to convene for an “urgent meeting” on February 20. To discuss potential election dates for K-P and Punjab.
On Sunday, however, the ECP replied to his letter, explaining that it was still too early to consult with him. About the upcoming provincial assembly elections because the matter was pending litigation.