Govt urged to abide by Constitution on election date

ISLAMABAD: Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED), an umbrella organisation of civil society groups, on Monday urged the federal and provincial governments and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to strictly adhere to the constitutional requirements regarding provincial assembly elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

In a statement, it said that a delay in polls due to “political expediency” will undermine the constitutional order and will have grave consequences for the “fledgling democracy” in the country. The CED urged the political parties to take steps to reduce polarisation, sort out the controversy around the implications of the decision of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) regarding the census, jointly set date or dates for the polls within the constitutional framework, agree on a code of conduct for the electoral campaign, and ensure that will of the people will be respected in all circumstances.

The proposed dialogue among political stakeholders must pave the way for multi-party consensus on measures aimed at improving the law and order, enacting electoral reforms, building the trust of voters in the electoral process, and upholding the Constitution.

“The CED believes that the multiple crises affecting the country require mature politics and stakeholders’ dialogue, as the existing polarisation and unchecked politics of zero-sum type run the risk of bringing down the whole constitutional order,” the statement added.