Monday, April 15, 2024

Elections Must Be Held Simultaneously Across Pakistan, says Law Minister

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Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmatihttps://www.khaama.com
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati
Minister of Law and Justice Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, addressing a press conference with the foreign media. APP

The Federal Law and Justice, Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar, advocated for simultaneous elections across the country, saying that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has the authority to organize elections under the constitution.

Tarar, who briefed the foreign media on the Supreme Court’s decision and the government’s position on it on Thursday in Islamabad, stated that the only way to resolve the current constitutional, political, and legal issues is to hold elections once and at the same time across the entire country to ensure transparency and fairness.

He asserted that the constitution stated that the ECP was charged with holding elections and that a framework was in place, meaning that the court decisions violated it.

The remarks by the Law and Justice Minster came after the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered provincial elections to go ahead, which has faced a constitutional crisis in the country. in addition, the Parliament rejected the order on the same day.

Meanwhile, the federal government appears determined to hold off and go along with the parliament, saying that according to the constitution, the government is determined to conduct elections simultaneously across the country.

According to the law minister, if elections are held in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as per the court’s orders and then again in October following the conclusion of the National Assembly’s and Sindh and Balochistan’s provincial assemblies’ terms of office, it will lead to yet another constitutional and political crisis.

“The ECP is an empowered and autonomous institution with complete authority over elections. It is the election commission vested with the duty of elections and to ensure the polls are conducted fairly,” Azam Tarar said.

 “As per the constitution, there is a procedure for elections. Elections should be held simultaneously all over the country,” he said. The law minister said petitions regarding elections were sub judice in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

 “It is feared that the minority verdict of the Supreme Court would create a constitutional crisis. The federal cabinet has expressed reservations on the SC verdict as it believed that the verdict of the majority should not be converted into a decision of the minority,” he said.

On the other hand, on March 28, the National Assembly unanimously approved a resolution demanding the conduct of general elections simultaneously to all assemblies across the country to ensure political stability.

In addition, the security situation in Pakistan was worrying, and the security forces were actively involved in counterterrorism operations. Therefore it would not be possible to conduct separate elections for Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said the Azam Tarar.

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