ISLAMABAD: After the Peshawar High Court (PHC) suspended its order about the PTI intra-party polls and restored the party’s electoral symbol ‘bat’, the Election Commission of Pakistan is likely to approach the Supreme Court against the single-bench order.

Informed sources told Dawn that the commission discussed the PHC order at length and explored options to get the same reversed. “In all probability, we will be challenging the order before the Supreme Court,” a senior official said.

He said the commission will meet again today (Thursday) to finalise the decision.

On Tuesday, PHC Justice Kamran Hayat during the proceedings asked under which law the ECP could declare intra-party elections null and void as he suspended the order about the PTI polls.

Sharing objections to the order, an ECP official noted that a single bench should not have passed such an order.

Today’s huddle will finalise strategy on whether high court suspension of its verdict on PTI symbol will be assailed

He also confirmed that the ECP has decided to file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the Peshawar High Court’s suspension of the commission’s order of appointing Irfanullah as returning officer (RO) PK-91 (Kohat-II). The order was passed on Wednesday.

According to the ECP official, the decision to move the SC was taken after a detailed discussion and seeking legal opinion from experts. “The meeting noted that following the PHC order, the very constituency is now technically without a returning officer. In these circumstances, it is becoming difficult for the Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct elections,” he remarked.

The official complained that the commission was overburdened as a large number of delimitation cases were being remanded to the ECP by the courts even after the publication of final delimitation lists. He also regretted the interference in the appointment of returning officers. “We should be allowed to do our job,” he stressed.

IT systems functioning satisfactorily

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan said that all the operational and IT systems of the commission were functioning satisfactorily.

In a statement, the ECP defended the ‘automated and modern’ election management system (EMS) developed for use in the polls slated to be held on February 8. “All preparations in this regard are complete and this automated system has been tested several times,” the commission claimed.

Some additional features have also been added to the EMS to assist returning officers so that data can be stored for future use even during the initial stages of elections, the statement noted.

It also said that the main purpose of EMS was the transmission and compilation of election results and added that it would be used only on the polling day.

“The EMS does not pose any threat to the transmission and tabulation of election results and the Election Commission is fully satisfied with its preparations for the general elections 2024 and the use of the election management system in it.” The fears and apprehensions in some quarters in this regard were baseless, it said.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2023

Editorial

Ominous demands
Updated 18 May, 2024

Ominous demands

The federal government needs to boost its revenues to reduce future borrowing and pay back its existing debt.
Property leaks
18 May, 2024

Property leaks

THE leaked Dubai property data reported on by media organisations around the world earlier this week seems to have...
Heat warnings
18 May, 2024

Heat warnings

STARTING next week, the country must brace for brutal heatwaves. The NDMA warns of severe conditions with...
Dangerous law
Updated 17 May, 2024

Dangerous law

It must remember that the same law can be weaponised against it one day, just as Peca was when the PTI took power.
Uncalled for pressure
17 May, 2024

Uncalled for pressure

THE recent press conferences by Senators Faisal Vawda and Talal Chaudhry, where they demanded evidence from judges...
KP tussle
17 May, 2024

KP tussle

THE growing war of words between KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and Governor Faisal Karim Kundi is affecting...