Islamabad [Pakistan], March 23 (ANI): Pakistan's Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb welcomed the Election Commission of Pakistan's decision of delaying elections in Punjab, The News International reported, adding that she said that ECP's decision is in Pakistan's interest and will ensure political stability in the country.
Marriyum Aurangzeb's statement comes a day after the electoral authority announced the postponement of elections in Punjab to October 8. The elections in Punjab were scheduled to be held on April 30 after Pakistan's President Arif Alvi in consultation with the ECP had announced the date, as per the news report.
In a statement, Aurangzeb stated that the election commission has taken the decision after consulting all stakeholders. She said, "The election commission has taken the decision after consulting all stakeholders. The ECP took the decision after considering the economic, political and security situation", as per the news report.
Aurangzeb stressed that the commission under Article 218 of the Constitution has to ensure that transparent, impartial and fair elections are held in Pakistan. She said that Article 224 requires the existence of caretaker governments in the federal capital and provincial units at the time of polls. However, when the Assembly's elections take place, governments will be formed in two provinces.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the polls would have remained controversial forever if they were conducted in the two provinces on the scheduled date. She said, "If the elections were held on April 30, the assemblies in Punjab and KP would have ended six months ago," as per The News International report.
She added that ECP, with its decision, has saved Pakistan from a major constitutional crisis. Criticizing former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the Constitution cannot function on one person's will. She said, "He can violate the Constitution whenever he wants and dissolve the assembly as he wills -- this won't work", as per the news report.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday announced the postponement of the upcoming elections in Punjab till October 8 citing security reasons as the major cause for the change in plan, as per the news report. The ECP in its order said that in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by Article 218(3), read with Section 58 and Section 8(c) of the Elections Act, 2017, the commission "hereby withdraws the [earlier] election programme [...] and fresh schedule will be issued in due course of time with poll date on October 8." (ANI)