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Punjab Governor Baligur Rahman on Thursday told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that he is not bound to announce the date for the elections as he has not dissolved the provincial assembly.
The governor stated this in response to the request of citizen Munir Ahmed not to announce the election day after the dissolution of the assembly.
“It is categorically denied that respondent No. 1 was under any obligation to set the date for the election when he never dissolved the Assembly and acted on the so-called advice of the Chief Minister,” the governor said in an eight-page reply to LHC.
He also dismissed the impression that his move would create any obstacle for the ECP to discharge his duties, terming the allegations as “false”.
“The contents of the instant paragraph are rejected as false, outrageous and completely baseless. It is regrettable that the respondent has been imputed to malafides in disregard of the provisions of the Constitution,” the governor said while asking the court to dismiss the petition.
Meanwhile, LHC Justice Jawad Hasan also heard a similar plea by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) regarding the announcement of election dates in the province.
PTI leaders, including Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry, PML-N leader Rana Mashood and others took part in the meeting.
Mr. Chowdhury asked the court to decide the case tomorrow (Friday) as further delay would affect the 90-day period stipulated in the Constitution for holding elections.
The ECP’s lawyer told the court that the electoral body was facing various hurdles, including funds, in conducting the elections.
But a lawyer for the federal government asked the judge to form a larger panel to hear the case.
The PTI lawyer said that the government and the ECP are not serious about holding elections on time. Asad Umar warned that if the election date is not announced within three days, a constitutional crisis will arise.
After hearing the arguments, Justice Jawad Hasan directed the ECP and the Punjab Governor to submit their detailed replies in the case on Friday.