ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed on Thursday the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) plea seeking a review of the apex court’s order calling for elections in Punjab to be held on May 14.
In its April 4 order, the Supreme Court had not only declared as “unconstitutional” the ECP’s decision to move Punjab polls date to October 8 from April 10, and also set May 14 as the new date for polls in the province, in a blow to the then coalition government that was seen dragging its feet on provincial elections.
The verdict was unanimously announced by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
On March 22, the ECP delayed the provincial assembly election in the politically crucial Punjab province by more than five months, citing the deteriorating security situation in the cash-starved country, a move criticised by PTI chairman Imran Khan.
Since his ouster last April 2023 in a no-confidence vote in parliament, Imran had been demanding early elections. Then premier Shahbaz Sharif dismissed the demand and kept to elections scheduled for later this year.
The PDM government wanted national elections and the voting for the two provincial assemblies held on the same day.
During today’s hearing, CJP Bandial observed that, “The court will intervene whenever there will be a constitutional violation.”