The Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, stated on Thursday that the government intends to conduct the general election as per the schedule provided by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Solangi informed the media that the election will be held on the date designated by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He emphasized the government’s alignment with the ECP’s position and clarified that there is no intention to curtail its authority.
Referring to Article 218(3) of the Constitution, he assured that the caretaker government is committed to fully supporting the ECP in ensuring that the elections are conducted in a transparent and equitable manner.
Solangi pointed out that the ECP is obligated to perform the delimitation exercise in line with Article 51. He noted that the ECP has already outlined a plan for this process. The Constitution clearly outlines that the nation will be governed by duly elected representatives, he added.
The caretaker minister revealed that the caretaker finance minister is set to present an economic recovery plan within a few days. He expressed optimism that the elected government will inherit a healthier economy, as the caretaker administration is dedicated to advancing economic growth and prosperity.
This statement follows the decision by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja to decline an invitation from President Alvi for a discussion regarding the general election date. Sources within the ECP informed that this decision was made during an ECP meeting aimed at considering legal and constitutional options in response to the president’s communication.
As per advice from the legal team, the CEC was advised not to engage in consultations with President Alvi concerning the election date, citing the Election Amendment Act, which rendered such consultations unnecessary.
Subsequently, CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja chose not to meet with the president and communicated his decision via a letter. The letter conveyed the ECP’s respect for President Arif Alvi but clarified that, in line with the Election Amendment Act, there is no requirement for consultation on the election date.
The letter explained that while the president can announce the election date when the assembly is dissolved, the ECP retains autonomy in determining the announcement date. It is noteworthy that President Arif Alvi had invited Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja for a meeting on Wednesday to finalize the general election date.