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ISLAMABAD: Facing the ire of public and political circles over its failure to ensure the timely conduct of general elections in the country, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has instructed its delimitation committees to complete their work by September 26 – in order to publish the preliminary delimitation report the next day (September 27).

The commission issued these instructions in a meeting held to review the pace of work of the delimitation committees on Monday.

Previously, the preliminary delimitation report was scheduled to be published on October 9 that has now been revised to September 26. The entire delimitation exercise is scheduled to complete on November 30.

Delimitation process to be completed by Nov 30 instead of mid-Dec: ECP

On the first of this month, the ECP, in a meeting, revised the completion date of the delimitation drive for two weeks — from December 14 to November 30 – what still appeared to be an indication that the commission would fail to hold the general elections in the country within the constitutionally-mandated 90-day period.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of demands from different political parties to reduce the duration for delimitation exercise and issue the general elections’ schedule forthwith.

However, the electoral body decided that the polls’ schedule would be issued after the completion of the delimitation exercise.

Mainstream political parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Awami National Party (ANP) have categorically supported timely polls’ demand.

On August 17, the ECP came under fire from public and political circles for unilaterally deciding to launch the delimitation of constituencies of the assemblies — without taking any political party on board.

It was only after the ECP faced massive criticism that it invited the political parties for holding separate meetings with the electoral body’s management to discuss the issues involving the general polls.

The National Assembly was dissolved on August 9 — whereas general polls are required to be held not later than November 7 this year, within the 90-day period mandated by the Constitution.

Sindh and Balochistan legislatures were also dissolved last month. The general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are already witnessing an inordinate delay with both provincial legislatures having dissolved in January.

Last week, President Dr Arif Alvi, in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, recommended November 6 as the date for holding general polls in the country. However, the CEC, so far, has failed to respond to the president’s letter.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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Parvez Sep 19, 2023 10:35am
ECP is a one in their right sense can call it an independent body.
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zaya zaya Sep 19, 2023 10:55am
CEC is in non compliance of Constitutions Article 224, and should be charged under Article 6, ECP is always supposed to be ready. Time of Election and bye-election 224. 1[(1) A general election to the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly shall be held within a period of sixty days immediately following the day on which the term of the Assembly is due to expire, unless the Assembly has been sooner dissolved, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than fourteen days before that day.] 2[(1A) On dissolution of the Assembly on completion of its term, or in case it is dissolved under Article 58 or Article 112, the President, or the Governor, as the case may be, shall appoint a care-taker Cabinet:
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