Federal Cabinet Rejects Supreme Court’s Verdict On Punjab, KP Elections

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Federal Cabinet rejects Supreme Court’s verdict on Punjab, KP elections

The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says the court's decision a "minority verdict" and "non-implementable”.

ISLAMABAD: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-April 4th, 2023) Federal Cabinet of Pakistan has rejected the Supreme Court's verdict on the holding of elections in Punjab. The decision was taken during a session chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The Cabinet considered the recent decision of the apex court regarding the postponement of elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the Election Commission of Pakistan on March 22.

The Cabinet deemed the court's decision a "minority verdict" and "non-implementable".

The verdict was issued by a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

It declared the Election Commission of Pakistan's decision null and void, stating that the constitution and the law do not empower the commission to extend the date of elections beyond the 90-day period provided in Article 224(2) of the Constitution.

As per the judgment, the Punjab Assembly's election will now be held on May 14, and April 10 is the last date for filing appeals against the decision of the Returning Officer rejecting or accepting the nomination papers. The last date for withdrawal of candidature and publication of the revised list of candidates will be April 19, while election symbols will be issued to the contesting candidates on April 20.

The Supreme Court also directed the federal government to provide PKR 21 billion to the Election Commission for the elections. It emphasized that the caretaker government must provide a plan to ensure sufficient personnel for election duty and security purposes. The federal government was also asked to support the commission in conducting the elections.

In conclusion, the Federal Cabinet's decision to reject the Supreme Court's verdict on holding elections in Punjab has added to the ongoing political turmoil in the country. The implementation of the apex court's decision is crucial for the smooth conduct of elections and the peaceful transfer of power.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.