Will all elections take place same day this time?

ISLAMABAD          -          The fear of economic default of the country has perhaps fallen back to second priority in the political discourse after the ‘surprise’ by PTI Chairman Imran Khan to practically pushing Chief Ministers of Punjab and KPK to dissolve their assemblies. Though the economic wizards from ruling clique for the last five months are arguing not to let the country’s economy at the lowest ebb, yet conducting elections in two assemblies [Punjab and KPK] emerges as a big challenge with the current economic situation. The reports suggest that the cost of holding general polls has increased manifold during the last decade. The top electoral watchdog [ECP] has also estimated Rs22 billion for conducting elections only for one provincial assembly. It is believed that the dissolution of two assemblies [Punjab and KPK] will turn the country into the election mode. The difference of conducting early polls in these two assemblies could be for over two months, the political constitutional experts believed. It might also be for the first time in the country, in case of dissolution of the two assemblies, when the general polls would not be held at the same time in all the assemblies including national Assembly. The article 224 of the Constitution clearly refers that general polls would mean that conducting the elections for the seats of both the national Assembly as well as the four provincial assemblies simultaneously. The main purpose of this political gimmick by dissolving the assemblies is to put pressure on the PdM government to force for general elections in the country at once. This ‘wish’ might not be fulfilled smoothly as the legal hitches could favour the federal government to block this move. Under article 105[3] of the Constitution, governor has to appoint a date in 90 days from the date of dissolution, for the holding of a general election to that assembly. This means that the elections will be held to that assembly alone, and not to the others. The ruling clique of the federal government, in its reaction, has no option but to blame Imran Khan for still finding ‘face-saving’ by taking an undemocratic step for the dissolution of both the assemblies. Background discussions with the senior lawmakers suggest that the PdM government would try to complete the tenure of the national Assembly (nA). The government with the consultations of legal brains would try to find the ways to conduct polls in the country at the same date, as even PTI’s senior members have given a hint to jointly deliberate on this important matter. Some senior members in PTI are also still convincing their chairman Imran Khan to be part of the national Assembly by rejoining the parliament so that the party could play its role in making a caretaker setup in the centre.

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