=> ISLAMABAD: The notification of Election Commission -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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=> ISLAMABAD: The notification of Election Commission

ISLAMABAD: The notification of Election Commission of January 2, 2008, postponing the general elections scheduled for January 8 was challenged on Tuesday in the Supreme Court, praying for declaring the notification as without lawful authority.

Muhammad Saad Shibli, Vice-President Lahore High Court Bar, Bahawalpur has filed a constitutional petition in the Supreme Court under article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the chief election commissioner, Election Commission and President Pervez Musharraf as respondents.

The petitioner contended that the notification dated January 2, issued by the chief election commissioner (CEC) is ex-facie in excess of power and authority, unlawful, illegal, without jurisdiction and discriminatory.

It was prayed in the petition that the CEC was required to announce new schedule after taking date of poll from the president. The petitioner further prayed to the apex court that provision of sections 11-A, and 25 also be held ultra vires of the Constitution, if required.

The petitioner contended that the CEC has no power to change the date of poll of general election announced by the president and it would otherwise amount to superseding the power of the president.

He argued that the CEC can only put forward request to the president to change the date of poll for general elections and after receiving direction of new date of poll, the CEC would give fresh schedule within the meaning of section 11 of the People’s Representation Act 1976 as a compulsory requirement of law.

The petitioner further stated that it is the duty of the chief election commissioner under Article 218 of the constitution and under Section 103(a) of People’s Representation Act 1976 to manage and hold the election fair and free from coercion, intimidation and pressure, but under the effect of incidents of December 27, 2007 to December 31, 2007 voters are unable to exercise their right of casting vote in free, fair and impartial atmosphere.

So, wait for peaceful law and order condition, rehabilitation and normal situation as is required under the law to be recommended by the president, the petitioner contended.

The Election Commission through a notification issued on January 2, 2008 had postponed the general elections, earlier scheduled for January 8, 2008 and announced fresh date of February 18, 2008 for holding general elections.

The notification was issued in the aftermath of unfortunate assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007 as well as the law and order situation in the country suffered deterioration and as a result the offices of the assistant election commissioners located in Jamshoro, Naushero Feroze, Kamber Shahdadkot, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Badin, Dadu and Kashmore districts of the province of Sindh were set on fire.

The Election Commission had announced that it was not possible to hold the general elections on the scheduled date of January 8, 2008.
Source: The News
Date:1/23/2008