ECP calls emergency meeting to discuss court verdicts

An emergency meeting of Election Commission is being held in Islamabad today (Saturday) to discuss recent rulings by high courts. The court ruling have rocked the election schedule and put a question mark on the fate of the coming general elections. Yesterday, Lahore High Court annulled the nomination papers prepared by the Parliament for contesting the forthcoming elections. The court delivered its verdict on petitions challenging the present format of nomination papers. In its ruling, the court ordered the ECP to prepare new nomination papers and again add the requirements of articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Following the orders, the ECP ordered Returning Officers not to receive nomination papers scheduled from Saturday (June 2). Separately, the Balochistan High Court on Friday declared delimitation of eight provincial electoral constituencies null and void in Quetta. The court ordered ECP to re-conduct delimitation in view of apprehensions and reservations of political parties. On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court, while hearing a petition regarding the delimitation of constituencies, set aside the delimitation of constituencies in four districts of Punjab and referred their cases back to the commission. The districts are Jhelum, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh and Lower Dir. The next day, IHC declared the delimitation of Kharan, Ghotki, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Bahawalpur and Haripur void, ordering ECP to decide the disputes on June 4. Delimitation is a cause of concern among politicians. Many fear that July 25 general elections could be postponed due to the process of reconducting the delimitation; however, the commission rules out any possible delay in much-awaited polls. Yesterday, caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, after his oath taking ceremony, said the elections will be held on time. “I will work according to the mandate given to me.”



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