Following decision of the Supreme Court (SC) against the postponement of elections in Punjab, the electoral watchdog on Wednesday issued a revised schedule, announcing holding polls on May 14 as directed by the apex court. The ECP took the decision in an emergency meeting held earlier in the day for consultations on the SC verdict. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired the session. After the meeting, a notification was issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with partial modification in the election schedule. According to the new program, the last date for filing appeals against decisions of the returning officers (ROs) pertaining to nomination papers will be April 10. The appellate tribunal will resolve all such applications latest by April 17. Following this, the ECP will publish the revised list of candidates the next day. The last date for withdrawal of candidature and publication of the revised list of candidates has been set as April 19 while the candidates will be allotted election symbols on April 20. “The ECP hereby recalls its notification of even number dated March 22 2023 and in partial modification to this commission’s notification of March 8 2023 hereby revises following stages of election programme for the conduct of general elections to the provincial assembly of Punjab,” stated the revised notification. The election schedule by the ECP comes just a day after the apex court declared as “unconstitutional” the ECP’s earlier decision to postpone elections in Punjab, in a blow to the government that has been trying to delay the provincial election citing security issues and the economic crisis. The three-member bench – headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan – also fixed May 14 as the date for the poll in the province. On March 22, the ECP had delayed the provincial assembly election in the politically crucial Punjab province by more than five months, citing the deteriorating security situation in the cash-starved country, a move criticised by Imran. Following the ECP’s announcement, the PTI on March 25 approached the SC against the electoral watchdog’s decision to delay elections in Punjab. The hearings in the case, which lasted over a week, witnessed high drama after two judges of the original five-member bench – Justices Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Aminuddin Khan – recused themselves from hearing the case. Thereafter, the chief justice constituted a bench comprising himself, Justice Ahsan and Justice Akhtar to proceed with the PTI petition.