Khyber-Pakhunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Tuesday suggested May 28 as the date for general elections to the provincial assembly, though has yet to officially communicate it to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Speaking with reporters after a meeting with the ECP, he claimed that an election campaign would not be possible during the upcoming month of Ramzan, adding that candidates should be granted sufficient time for the exercise after Eidul Fitr prior to the polls. Earlier, President Arif Alvi had announced April 30 as the date for elections in Punjab, which translates into the entire election campaign occurring during Ramzan. Both officials were tasked to announce a date for polls by the Supreme Court, which ruled that polls must take place within 90 days of an assembly’s dissolution but permitted the “barest minimum” deviation from the same due to the delay in fixing a date for polls. Both KP and Punjab assemblies were dissolved in mid-January and should have proceeded to polls by mid-April.
Following his meeting with ECP officials, the governor also discussed elections in KP with the president. According to a statement, the president advised the governor to announce a date for the polls in KP after consultations with the ECP in compliance with court orders.
On March 8, the meeting between the electoral body and senior officials including Governor Ali could not be fruitful as it failed to finalize a date for the polls despite the orders given by the apex court.