Current Affairs

Supreme Court Deadline for Punjab Elections Expires Today

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan is set to hear a plea from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday, seeking a review of the apex court’s April 4 ruling that called for elections in Punjab to be held on May 14.

The deadline has now passed and the ECP is requesting the court to revisit its earlier order, stating that the judiciary lacks the power to determine the date of elections. In a 14-page petition, the ECP argued that the Constitution assigns such authority to other entities, and not the courts.

Last month, the Supreme Court declared the ECP’s decision to hold the Punjab polls on October 8 as “illegal” and directed the electoral body to hold elections on May 14.

The ECP subsequently filed a petition to review the ruling, which it claimed violated its constitutional jurisdiction and changed the settled constitutional jurisprudence of the country.

To ensure that the polls were held on the prescribed date, the Supreme Court ordered the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on April 14 to release Rs21 billion to the ECP.

However, the electoral body informed the court on April 18 that it had not yet received the funds required for the polls.

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Although the apex court suggested negotiations between the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to end the political deadlock over the election’s timeframe, no consensus was reached.

In a report submitted on May 3, the PTI requested the court to implement its April 4 judgement and hold elections to the Punjab Assembly on May 14.

It is worth noting that the Punjab Assembly was dissolved in January at the request of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who urged the ruling coalition to hold snap polls.

However, the federal government has insisted that elections will be held in October or November this year. The ECP had postponed the Punjab polls to October, which was challenged by the PTI.

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