Pakistan’s Khan Says ‘Constitution Violated’ As Punjab Vote Is Delayed
Story Code : 1048384
The elections for the legislative assembly in the country’s most populous Punjab province, which were to be held on April 30, were delayed until October 8, the Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] announced on Wednesday.
Former prime minister and current opposition leader Imran Khan condemned the ECP’s move, calling it a violation of Pakistan’s constitution.
“Today everyone must stand behind the legal community – the judiciary and lawyers – with expectation that they will protect constitution,” he tweeted. “For if this is accepted today, then it is the end of rule of law in Pakistan.”
The poll panel’s decision came on the heels of a deepening political turmoil in the South Asian country, which has been struggling with a battered economy on the brink of default.
The ECP cited the security situation in the country and the shortage of funds as key reasons for the postponement of the elections.
In January, Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf [PTI] party got the assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces dissolved as part of an attempt to compel the federal government to call snap national elections.
“We dissolved our 2 provincial legislatures with expectation that elections would be held in 90 days as clearly given in our Constitution. We did not take this action to allow a bunch of fascists to impose a reign of terror, violating the Constitution & Rule of Law,” Khan tweeted on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, President Arif Alvi announced elections in Punjab on April 30 following a Supreme Court judgment that ordered elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces within 90 days, according to the constitution.
Pakistan traditionally holds the national and provincial polls simultaneously. Sharif and his governing coalition of more than 10 parties say they want to hold the national and regional voting on the same day.