JK News Today
New Delhi, September 21: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Thursday that general elections will be held in the country in the last week of January 2024 – well beyond the 90-day limit given in the Constitution, as per reports in Pakistani media.
According to these reports ,” The ECP reviewed the progress of the delimitation process on Thursday and decided that the preliminary list of constituencies will be published on September 27, 2023.
After hearing the objections and suggestions on the preliminary lists of constituencies, the final list of constituencies will be published on November 30. Subsequently, a 54-day period will be given for the election program, and after that polls will be held in the last week of January 2024.
Earlier, the ECP had announced that it would be reducing the time required to complete the delimitation of constituencies and that its publication would now be final by Nov 30 instead of December 14 as earlier announced.
The purpose of reducing the duration of delimiting constituencies was to ensure holding elections as soon as possible. A previous statement of the ECP had said that under the purview of the revised date for the finalisation of constituencies “the election schedule will also be announced”. Just days after the statement, the ECP has now announced that polls will be held in new year’s first month.
Though ECP has announced holding elections in the last week of January, it hasn’t specifically announced the date for elections, raising doubts if this would be the final decision. Just like electoral body reduced the date for the delimitation exercise, it is still conjectured that the polls supervisory body can reduce or extend the time for polls in the country.
The statement was issued after the ECP summoned an emergency meeting following discussions with different stakeholders. The election body had of late conducted back-to-back meetings with officials of different political parties to take into stock their position regarding elections and delimitation, among other things.
Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, three days ahead of its mandated period. The 90-day limit for the ECP to hold elections under the Constitution ends on Nov 9. However, on August 17, the election supervisor announced that it would revamp all the national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies in light of the digital census within 120 days.