K-P polls date will be finalised on March 14: governor

Ali says SC verdict will be accepted in letter and spirit

Jahanzeb Khattak March 11, 2023
K-P Governor Haji Ghulam Ali. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE


Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Friday said he would hold talks with the chief election commissioner (CEC) next week to confirm the date for holding the elections of the provincial assembly.

Talking to a delegation of journalists from the Nowshera Press Club, the governor said that the Supreme Court had ordered for conducting the election within the constitutional timeframe and the government accepted this ruling in letter and spirit.

“Talks were held on March 8 with an Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) delegation. I am going to Islamabad on March 14. I will have a detailed discussion with the CEC on the K-P Assembly elections,” Governor Ali told the journalists.

“In the meeting, the ECP will be apprised of the concerns and recommendations of the provincial government and all the issues relating to the elections will be sorted out and [hopefully] we will reach a final date for the voting in the province,” he said.

He stressed that the situation in K-P was different from that in Punjab. He added that the ECP had issued the election schedule for the election in Punjab. The problem of law and order, especially the new wave of terrorism in K-P, was worrying,” he said.

During the hearing of the suo motu case on election date, he said, the Supreme Court listened to all the parties on all aspects of the matter, including the new census, new demarcations of constituencies, caretaker governments and law and order situation.

“The Supreme Court has given its decision. We accept the Supreme Court [decision], we cannot deviate from the decision in any way,” the governor said.

“Everyone will have to accept the decision of the Supreme Court.”

Ali emphasised that the economic situation of the country and the problem of law and order in K-P was very worrying, adding that the government was trying its best to eradicate the scourge of terrorism from the country.

“The bad economic situation and inflation has made life difficult for the people. A large number of flood-affected people in Balochistan and Sindh are still homeless, while a new census has started which will result in new constituencies” he pointed out.

“It will be strange that the provincial assembly elections will be conducted under the caretaker government on old constituencies, while the National Assembly elections will be held under the new provincial governments on new constituencies,” he continued.

“It is also clearly written in the Constitution that the election would be held under the caretaker set-up. A solution will have to be found,” he added. “So, there are several technical issues that need to be resolved.”

The governor stressed the need for holding transparent elections in the presence of an impartial caretaker government.

“What will happen if no one accepts the election results? The country cannot afford that,” he added.

He informed the journalists that the issues of economic constraints, security, and other problems had also been highlighted by the federal government.

“The Election Commission will be informed about all this as well,” he added.

He made it clear that his responsibility was to give a date for the elections. “For the rest, the federal and provincial governments will take their own decisions,” he added, assuring that “we will fulfil our constitutional responsibilities”.

To a question about the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Governor Ali said the former prime minister adopted “strange policies” during his four-year term in office.

“Imran turned political differences into enmity. He [the PTI chairman] did not like to shake hands with the opposition either inside or outside parliament. He turned democracy into dictatorship and established new traditions, which are unprecedented,” he charged.

“Political parties should work out a solution to the issues facing the country through discussions among themselves. Now, Imran indicated discussing the elections, election reforms, caretaker set-up and other issues, which is a good thing.”


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