Controversy arose when PTI decided to hold elections early
.The Election Commission of Pakistan has clarified that Senate elections 2021 will not be held before February 10.
Clearing the air regarding the election controversy, the commission said that it is aware of its responsibilities and ensured that the elections will be held at the right time.
Various statements were issued over the Senate elections and certain opinions were expressed over the authority of the ECP, which created ambiguity, a statement by the ECP stated.
“Till now, the commission had issued no statement, but now it feels there is a need to provide legal and constitutional clarity over the matter.”
The commission said that half of the Senate members will retire on March 11, 2021 after completing their term. It pointed out that under Article 224(3) of the Constitution, the elections “shall be held not earlier than thirty days immediately preceding the day on which the vacancies are due to occur”.
The controversy arose when on December 15, the PTI government decided to hold the elections in February instead of March. Following this, a debate had stirred in the cabinet regarding whether the government had the constitutional right to change the election date.
The federal government also decided to hold the Senate election through a show of hands. The decision was made during a meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Senate elections are held every three years and only the commission has the authority to organise them. The process is, however, spread over phases and takes roughly a month to conclude.
ECP to hold by-polls on eight seats
On the other hand, ECP has announced the dates for by-elections for provincial assembly seats that fell vacant after MNAs and MPAs passed away.
Elections for Malir’s PS-88, Sanghar’s PS-43 and Pishin’s PS-20 will be held on February 16. Other seats include NA-75 (Sialkot), NA-45 (Orakzai), PS-51 (Gujranwala), PS-52 (Umerkot) and PK-63 (Nowshera).
The by-election was delayed because of the corona virus outbreak. The PPP had submitted a petition asking for the authority to hold the elections.