ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday made it clear that there is no provision in the constitution to allow mid-term elections.
The commission said the only constitutional way to challenge elections was to file a petition in the election tribunals (ETs). The cases of four constituencies, as demanded by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), are pending before the ETs and no other authority had the jurisdiction to decide them, said ECP Additional Secretary Sher Afgan at a press briefing. He categorically stated that the ECP was an independent constitutional institution and the government had no authority to direct it to open the case relating to any constituency.
“The government does not have constitutional powers to direct the ECP to hold re-polling in four constituencies, and even if the government does so the commission cannot act upon such directions,” he added. To a question about the possibility of mid-term elections, Afgan said that there was no such provision in the constitution. “The only thing available in constitution is the pre-mature dissolution of assemblies and if it happens, the commission is bound to hold elections within 90 days,” he added. “The constitutional provisions say that the ECP should hold elections within 60 days after the dissolution of assemblies upon completing their constitutional tenure.”
To another question, Sher Afgan stated that the election commission was ever ready to hold elections as it was its duty. He said that resignations by multiple lawmakers does not mean general elections would be held throughout the country.
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