Top court rejects plea to dissolve election panel

February 14, 2013 - 12:00:00 am
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top court yesterday threw out a petition from a populist cleric seeking to dissolve the election commission, taking the country a step closer to holding historic polls.
Although no date has been announced, the nuclear-armed country of 180 million is due to go to the polls by mid-May — marking the first time a democratically elected government would have seen out a full term in the country’s history.
The government and the opposition are publicly united that elections must be held on time, but politicians have expressed fears about delay by claiming conspiracies are being hatched to postpone the polls.
Critics had warned that there was a further risk to holding elections on time if the Supreme Court accepted the petition from cleric Tahirul Qadri, who has unsettled politics by whipping up support for sweeping, pre-electoral reforms.