Needless turmoil

The PDM coalition may not be well-suited to the constitutional requirement for elections within 90 days of assembly dissolution, but the government—any government—must bow to the law.

It is unlikely that the country or any of the parties involved will benefit from the recent campaign launched by the PML-N-led government and its allied parties to provoke a confrontation both with and within the judiciary. They have sought to justify this confrontation on the basis of what appears to be a gross misinterpretation of the role that the legislature plays within the state.

Under the presumption that their actions will ultimately be supported by a segment of the judiciary that they perceive to be “sympathetic” to their political cause, these parties and their leaders appear to have committed themselves to a very risky course.

Notwithstanding, they would do well to remember that the legal executive is, at last, a free foundation with its very own psyche.

In spite of the fact that it is hard to remark too profoundly regarding this situation given how disconnected the legal executive has generally been from the public eye, it tends to be securely said that the distinctions between our senior appointed authorities are more seasoned and established in something a lot greater than the momentum political stalemate.

For instance, the legitimate objections to the senior puisne judge not being included in benches hearing important cases are, regrettably, neither a recent development nor one that only pertains to recent cases.

In a similar vein, the issue of limiting the chief justice’s suo motu powers and his discretionary authority over bench formation has been a topic of discussion for a number of years. Although these issues have recently come to the attention of the public in rather tangled ways, this does not imply that the judges’ positions on internal matters reflect their “political leanings.”

Therefore, politicians who are attempting to “reject” the Supreme Court’s decision in the elections delay case by concealing themselves behind the internal turmoil of the judiciary should perhaps not abandon both common sense and restraint.

It is important to note that, even within the legal community, there appears to be little disagreement regarding the fact that the Constitution makes it abundantly clear that elections must be called within 90 days of an assembly’s dissolution.

In this way, while how the High Court managed regarding this situation might be questionable, there is no getting away from its decision. The government should give up its resistance and let the Election Commission carry out its mandate unless it intends to undermine the state’s trichotomy of powers.

Despite the fact that the PDM parties may not be optimistic about their chances in the upcoming elections, this does not mean that they are free to sabotage the state and the political process in order to safeguard themselves.

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