Election postponement.

The sudden, but much anticipated, decision by the Election Commission of Pakistan to postpone the election to Punjab Assembly has put the ball in the Supreme Court's dock. This move is unconstitutional, per se, and as per a recent ruling of the apex court stands in contempt. This fixation will have its consequences on the political mosaic in days to come, and it is highly likely that the top court will strike down the electoral watchdog's decision to postpone election as 'constitutional overreach', opening a Pandora's box of what next as powers-that-be sit literally fingers-crossed.

This unnerving situation is also under discussion at the ongoing joint session of the parliament, but if the merit of debate is any criterion, the ruling coalition is too divisive to take a call. As Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah took pauses and punctuations in stating the obvious whether the government wants to abide by the top court ruling to hold elections on April 30, and went on to question why polls cannot be delayed, as there exists a convention too, he has simply compounded the decision-making process. His synopsis that the public representatives and the stakeholders must guide the parliament is likely to put the government at loggerheads with the categorically spelt-out dictates of the constitution. This is where the catch-22 situation rests for the beleaguered coalition at the helm of affairs.

It is a volte-face premise as the Election Commission argues its case under the provisions of Article 218(3), read with Section 58 and...

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