- Election watchdog shortens delimitation time frame, which was earlier December 14
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to publish the list of final constituencies by November 30, according to the new delimitation.
The election watchdog decided to shorten the time frame after consultation with political parties. The previous date was December 14, 2023.
In a statement on Friday, the ECP said the purpose of squeezing the duration of the delimitation process was to ensure polls are held as early as possible.
The electoral body further said a date for elections will be announced keeping in view the schedule for the delimitation process.
Earlier, in a meeting with Awami National Party (ANP) on Wednesday, the ECP had said elections could possibly take place before February 2024 if delimitations are completed earlier than anticipated.
In a consultative meeting with the ECP, the ANP requested a schedule and date of elections if it was not possible to hold the election within 90 days.
After the meeting, Mian Iftikhar, ANP general secretary, told reporters that the ECP expressed its readiness for elections in mid-February and its determination to expedite constituency delimitation to potentially allow elections sooner.
Punjab polls order: SC dismisses ECP’s plea
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed on Thursday the ECP’s plea seeking review of the SC’s order of holding elections for the Punjab Assembly on May 14.
A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar resumed hearing the case. During the hearing, ECP lawyer Sajeel Swati sought one week’s time from the court for preparation in the case.
It is worth mentioning here that the National Assembly was dissolved on August 9 — a scenario which implies that the general elections are required to be held not later than November 7 this year, within the 90-day period mandated by the constitution.
Article 224(2) provides that when the NA or a provincial assembly is dissolved, a general election to the assembly shall be held within a period of 90 days after the dissolution, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than 14 days after the conclusion of the polls.
The general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have already been witnessing inordinate delay – keeping in view that both the provincial legislatures were dissolved in January this year and respective caretaker governments are since running the affairs of the two provinces.