ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Wednesday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the presidential elections on July 30, Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.
The court’s decision came on a petition filed by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, asking the court to not to hold the presidential elections during the last Ashra (10 days) of Ramazan.
The PML-N senator filed the petition in the SC after the ECP had turned down a request made by the federal government to change the date for presidential elections, saying that polls would be held on Aug 6 as already announced.
A three-member of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard Zafarul Haq’s petition on Wednesday.
In the petition, the PML-N senator gave the reference of various reports published in the media, according to which more than a hundred lawmakers would not be available to participate in the presidential elections on Aug 6, as they would be engaged in Aitekaf, Umrah and other religious duties.
Zafarul Haq’s petition sought to hold presidential elections on July 30.
During the hearing, Attorney General Munir A. Malik informed the court that that the federal government supported Zafarul Haq’s petition.
Moreover, he said it was the constitutional right of every member of the Parliament to vote in the presidential polls.
The Chief Justice asked as to what would be the constitutional barriers in pre-poning the election, adding that participation of every parliamentarian in the polls would permit constitutional requirements to be fulfilled in a better way.
He remarked that the ECP should consider holding the elections on the date requested by Zafarul Haq.
Later, the ECP agreed to fix July 30 as Presidential election date on the directives of the apex court.
The ECP officials also announced to change final date of submission of nomination papers to July 27, instead of 29th. According to them, the scrutiny of the papers would be completed on July 26, while candidates could withdraw their nomination papers by July 27.