Constitutional provisions exist to postpone polls in extreme situations Says KP governor

By Muhammad JuniadPublished On 04 Feb 2023

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Saturday gave the strongest indication yet that upcoming polls could be delayed as he pointed to the ‘extreme situation’ in the province.

Addressing the media outside the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar after a visit to the health care facility and meeting with the Police Lines suicide attack survivors.

He said that there exists today a situation in the province where thousands are displaced from the newly merged tribal districts due to terrorism while attacks elsewhere pose a real challenge to the security forces.

In such a situation, he said that holding free, fair, transparent and safe elections was not possible.

“When there are elections, it is the responsibility of the provincial government and the police to provide security but do you want to get to a point when there are elections in Wana (South Waziristan) and women say they cannot go to vote?” he said.

In this regard, he said that they have invited the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for discussions.

Asked whether they were looking to postpone elections, Ali said that this would not be the first time that elections have been postponed and refered to how polls were delayed following the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“There exists in the Constitution Article 254 that allows not holding constitutionally-mandated actions in their stipulated time,” he said.

254. When any act or thing is required by the Constitution to be done within a particular period and it is not done within that period, the doing of the act or thing shall not be invalid or other-wise ineffective by reason only that it was not done within that period.