EC to decide schedule of Senate elections, not Imran Khan; says Maryam Nawaz

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LAHORE: PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Thursday said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will decide the schedule for the upcoming Senate elections, not Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Speaking to the media in Lahore, she said: “You can hold the Senate elections one month before or one month later [but] you can’t save your government.”

Maryam’s statement follows the government’s decision to hold elections in February and invoke the advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on open voting for the polls. The elections are to be held for 52 seats of the upper house because as many members of the 104-member Senate will retire on March 11.

Maryam Nawaz

“What I don’t understand is that if the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) makes no difference to you […] what is the emergency behind announcing elections one month early. Something which has not happened before in the country’s history,” the PML-N vice president said.

She stated that from the government’s actions, it was clear it has understood that its days are now numbered. “Whatever tactics you use, you will have to go home.”

Maryam also accused the premier of “destroying” national institutions by “dragging them into politics”.

She said that the schedule for all elections were decided by the ECP. “All decisions are made by the ECP, no prime minister can do this. In what capacity did you announce the decision to hold Senate elections one month earlier?

“Did you not consult the Constitution of Pakistan? Did no one from your army of advisers tell you that this is the job of the ECP? Or have you taken it upon yourself to ruin the state of the Constitution and national institutions?”