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Another resolution seeking delay in Feb 8 polls lands in Pak Senate

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NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad, Jan 14 (PTI) A resolution seeking a delay in the February 8 general election was moved in Pakistan's Senate on Sunday, two days after a similar resolution was submitted in the Parliament's upper house.

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The resolution, the third of its kind to be moved in the Senate, cited cold weather and security concerns for the postponement of the elections, Geo News reported.

Tabled by independent Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman, the resolution said that extreme cold weather and snowfall would create difficulties for citizens to cast votes in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and create challenges for candidates trying to campaign.

“In the same way, due to security concerns in the country, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, candidates are facing threats of terrorist attacks while campaigning,” it said.

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The resolution added that the security issue was also creating obstacles and limiting the participation of candidates in their campaigns, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The resolution claimed that due to the increasing “sense of deprivation” and the fear of the province's citizens being left out of the electoral process, the date announced for the general election was “unsuitable” for the province, the report said.

It urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to delay polls to a date acceptable for all the relevant stakeholders, and that would also help remove hurdles in the way of free and fair elections, the report said.

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This comes two days after a similar resolution, seeking a three-month delay in the general elections, was tabled by independent Senator Hidayat Ullah on Friday.

Ullah also cited "security challenges" given the rise in terrorist attacks in different parts of the country as the reason for the delay in polls.

Earlier in the month, the Senate passed a non-binding resolution seeking a delay in the general election, citing cold weather and security concerns, increasing the political uncertainty ahead of the planned polls on February 8.

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The resolution, tabled by independent Senator Dilawar Khan on January 5, received overwhelming support in the upper house of Pakistan's Parliament but was slammed as "unconstitutional" by major political parties. The ECP also rejected the Senate's resolution and clarified that elections will be held on February 8, 2024.

It was passed with only 14 lawmakers out of the Senate's 100 members in attendance.

Major political parties also rejected the non-binding resolution, stating that further deferring the electoral process would be "unconstitutional".

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) unanimously filed a requisition on Thursday for the Senate session for timely polls.

The requisition contends that Pakistan cannot afford political uncertainty; therefore, to strengthen the democratic process and under Article 224 (2) of the Constitution, the general elections should have been held within 90 days. PTI GRS AMS GRS GRS

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