President Alvi created unnecessary fuss by writing a letter to the CECP. In a move that has left many perplexed, President Arif Alvi of Pakistan recently penned a letter suggesting a tentative election date of November 6th. While the President’s intentions may have been well-meaning, the language and implications of the letter have raised concerns about the potential impact on the electoral process and the nation as a whole. This article delves into the intricacies of President Alvi’s letter, seeking to shed light on the potential ramifications of this decision.
While some express disappointment in President Alvi’s failure to explicitly decree elections for November 6th, his effort to initiate a dialogue and arrive at a sensible decision is viewed as a favorable move, surpassing the alternative course of action.
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He criticized CECP for holding opposing views. Given that the Election Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, and all provincial governments are in agreement that only CECP has the authority to set the date, he suggested that CECP should consult with the Chief Justice of Pakistan regarding the election date. This move is seen as a positive step in involving all relevant parties in the decision-making process.
The pivotal portion of President Alvi’s letter suggests that the ECP, governments, and political parties should resolve the election date dispute in the Supreme Court, as he lacks the necessary authority to fulfill his constitutional obligation. The mention of November 6th as the latest possible election date is seen as a diversionary tactic.
Confusion and Uncertainty
One of the primary critiques of President Alvi’s letter lies in its ambiguity. Instead of providing a clear and decisive announcement, the letter introduces a level of uncertainty into an already delicate situation. This ambiguity has the potential to prolong the election process, leaving political parties and the public in a state of limbo. This uncertainty can undermine public trust in the electoral process, a cornerstone of any thriving democracy.
Potential Harm to State Organs
Critics argue that President Alvi’s letter may inadvertently cause harm to key state institutions. By introducing a degree of confusion into the election process, there is a risk that state organs, including the Election Commission and the judiciary, may face increased pressure and scrutiny. This could potentially strain the functioning of these crucial institutions, which are already under significant stress due to the complexities of the electoral process.
Some argue that the ECP is deliberately muddling the matter to create unnecessary confusion. The question arises as to when it will be too late to announce the election date to meet the 90-day timeframe. Is the deadline already passed, or is there still time? Some speculate that the President might be awaiting a response before the cutoff, in hopes of securing an election date within the mandated 90 days. Despite amendments to the Election Act, it still stipulates that powers are contingent upon the constitution, indicating that the authority ultimately rests with the president.
Impact on National Psyche
The timing and content of President Alvi’s letter have also been a source of concern for many. As the nation grapples with various political and socio-economic challenges, the introduction of ambiguity into the electoral process can have a psychological impact on the population. Heightened uncertainty and speculation can lead to a sense of unease among the public, potentially affecting their confidence in the political system.
President Alvi refrained from definitively setting a date for national polls. Instead, he acknowledged the contentious nature of the issue and suggested seeking court advice, characterizing the letter as a ploy to stir unnecessary commotion—an area where Alvi is considered proficient.
The drafting of President Alvi’s letter to the Chief Election Commissioner is seen as a significant but somewhat disappointing act. According to critics, he was expected to issue a gazette notification, exercising his powers under Article 48(5) of the constitution, and directing the fixation of the election date. The letter, however, does not hold the weight of a formal notification and does not establish legal or constitutional obligations. This move is perceived as an implicit surrender of authority, potentially weakening PTI’s position before the Supreme Court.
While President Alvi’s letter may have caused confusion and concern among various segments of society, it’s essential to consider the possible motives behind this move. Some argue that the PTI government may still hold hopes of navigating the electoral process to its advantage. By introducing a tentative date, President Alvi may be attempting to create an environment conducive to PTI’s electoral prospects.
This is how President Alvi merely points out the latest possible date for elections to the NA (when he clearly has the constitutional obligation to appoint a date for elections within 90 days of dissolution).
In the cases of KPK and Punjab, the CECP’s response to the president’s inquiry about the election date served as a clear dismissal. This prompts the question of why President Alvi would traverse the same path again. This letter essentially outlines how President Alvi “announced” the election date for the Punjab and KP assemblies, despite lacking the constitutional authority to do so.
The President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi has graciously carried out his Constitutional obligations under Article (48)-5. Now, the people of Pakistan are looking up to the Supreme Court to implement the true mandate of the Constitution by directing the Election Commission to hold elections by 6th November 2023. How can you still believe the election commission will hold elections, even on the court’s orders, when elections were not held on 14th May 2023 despite the court’s orders? Stop daydreaming, elections will not be held even if the court gives orders!
President Alvi wrote a letter with an election date of November 6th on Monday. Let’s see who else becomes subject to Article 6 in the future for violating constitutional responsibilities along with with others who already are subject to Article 6 for Punjab and KPK.
Incredible to see the lengths to which some people have gone since January to NOT hold elections in the country, and to stray away from the black-and-white constitutional position of elections being held in 90 days. This fundamental violation of the constitution has already resulted in unelected governments in KP and Punjab for 239 and 243 days respectively; unprecedented outside of periods of martial law. It has resulted in the worst crackdowns of law and order and the incredible sight of a 26-member cabinet being fired without exception in KP.
It is unbelievable, and almost funny (if it weren’t so sad) to see how far certain politicians and a set of supposed media persons are going to argue for not holding elections. All it reflects on is their lack of democratic credentials, and their lack of objectivity as mediapersons, respectively. It is only in Pakistan that a principle as fundamental as that of elected governments could be questioned on the basis of minute points of the bureaucratic process.
President Alvi provided a tentative 90-day timeframe (since the dissolution of assemblies, this would lead to November 6th) without firmly setting the date. He had the option to exert his veto power but chose not to do so.
President Alvi has fulfilled his role in the context. Regarding the General Elections, it is widely acknowledged that Sikandar Raja is merely a figurehead. Assurances from the UK and US indicate that elections will proceed as scheduled. This will present Pakistan to the world as a nation with a democratically elected government.
The visit of @JaneMarriottUK to the Chief Election Commissioner’s office appears illogical in terms of its purpose and intentions. The detailed judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan found the CEC guilty of violating the constitution by failing to hold elections within the specified period. This repetition of behavior in the context of national elections, which form the foundation of democracy in the country, is akin to endorsing misconduct. The question arises whether a similar act would be tolerated in her own country. It may be time for @JaneMarriottUK to move beyond a past colonial mindset, refrain from acting as a vicereine, and demonstrate consideration for the prevailing public sentiment.
Nawaz Sharif is set to return to Pakistan, and this time, it is due to the persistent claims made by Imran Khan over the past 7-8 months. Imran Khan’s assertions about Nawaz Sharif being involved in malfeasance have led to his leadership being challenged, resulting in him either being incarcerated or remaining in hiding.
All dissenting voices are expected to be quelled leading up to the elections, including those of IRK, Sanam, KS, or IK. Thousands of political workers and supporters will likely be detained, further hindering PTI’s ability to campaign effectively. This could result in Imran Khan’s exclusion from the electoral process.
The nation now looks at the Supreme Court to defend the Constitution, and the will of the people, so that 250 million Pakistanis can vote according to their free will for a government of their choice.
I’m very ambivalent about president Alvi’s letter to be honest. He announced a date like Imran Khan asked him to, but he also gave a legal standing to the ECP to drag this whole thing to the SC; making the delay of the elections legit.
The conditions for a “level playing field” have been established, making any further delay in elections unnecessary. By the end of November, individuals considered prisoners of conscience are anticipated to be released by QFI, potentially improving their standing. However, this scenario ultimately benefits everyone except for Pakistan and its citizens.
President Alvi’s letter states that the Constitution of Pakistan mandates elections within 90 days of dissolution of any assembly, which in this case means that elections have to be held not later than November 6.
President Alvi must be appreciated for his fairness (many would argue he went out of the way) in laying out the views of the Election Commission, the Law Division, and the provincial governments. Certainly, he is being fairer in laying out both sides of the argument than the cabal opposing elections illogically, which consists of a set of political parties and a segment of the media, abetted by segments of the bureaucracy whose job is to defend the Constitution.