Mahmood Khan Achakzai urges ECP to delay presidential elections in Pakistan with formal letter

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Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Chairman of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), has written a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) requesting the postponement of the presidential elections scheduled for the following day. He cited an incomplete electoral college as the reason for his request. Achakzai, the nominee of the Sunni Ittehad Council for the presidential post, is set to compete against Asif Ali Zardari, the joint candidate of allied parties.

The letter emphasized that Achakzai is a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections and pointed out that there are vacant reserved seats in the national and provincial assemblies. These seats remain unoccupied as no one has been elected to them yet. The letter argued that conducting the presidential election without filling these reserved seats would deny the votes of those who should have been elected, thus violating fundamental rights, laws, and the Constitution.

Achakzai urged the ECP to delay or postpone the presidential elections until the electoral college is completed. He emphasized that without the completion of the electoral college, the election would be deemed illegal and unethical.

In a separate statement to the media outside the Parliament House, Achakzai reiterated his call for postponing the presidential elections. He also proposed the formation of a parliamentary committee to address grievances related to the allocation of seats following the general elections held on February 8.

The letter mentioned the reserved seats that the Sunni Ittehad Council believes should be allocated to their party. The ECP had rejected their plea for allocation of reserved women and minority seats, stating that the council had legal defects and had not submitted a priority list of candidates for the reserved seats as required by law.

Subsequently, the Sunni Ittehad Council approached the Peshawar High Court to challenge the ECP’s decision. The court deferred the oath-taking of nine women lawmakers until March 13, who had been given reserved seats claimed by the council.

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