Legal fraternity renews call for general elections in 90 days

Concluding that no caretaker government can go beyond 90 days, the legal fraternity on Thursday reiterated their call for holding the next general elections in the country within 90 days.

This demand for timely conduct of the general elections was renewed in the All-Pakistan Lawyers Convention organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).

“The general elections are required to be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies and the ECP and all other institutions are required to act in aid of the ECP….Every institution in Pakistan is under the Constitution and cannot make even the slightest deviation from it,” detailed the declaration issued after the convention.

The convention laid emphasis on the importance of civilian supremacy, adherence to the constitution, the rule of law and the independence and integrity of the constitutional institutions as the fundamental pillars of democracy.

Arguing that no caretaker government could go beyond 90 days and become unconstitutional and illegal after that, the convention lamented that the caretaker governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already become unconstitutional and were liable to be removed.

Prominent among those who spoke at the moot included SCBA President Abid Zuberi, veteran lawyers Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Sardar Latif Khosa, Hamid Khan, Rabia Bajwa and others.

Coming down hard on the chief election commissioner (CEC), SCBA President Abid Zuberi remarked that Sikander Sultan Raja had violated the Supreme Court’s order and the constitution by failing to hold elections within 90 days.

Zuberi also made his fraternity’s intentions clear by saying that the SCBA would challenge the recent amendments to the Official Secrets Act and the Pakistan Army Act in the Supreme Court.

On March 1, the apex court, in a split verdict, ruled that elections for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab assemblies should be held within 90 days. In light of the court ruling, President Arif Alvi announced April 30 as a date for the Punjab polls after consulting the ECP.

Later, the electoral watchdog announced the postponement of the elections in Punjab citing security reasons, and postponed the elections till October 8.

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