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ISLAMABAD: As the cut-off date of February 29 for the President to summon the new National Assembly session nears, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has yet to issue the gazetted notifications of the winning candidates on different NA seats.

Unlike the NA, the gazetted notifications of the returned candidates for the provincial assemblies have been issued.

Still, these notifications of several NA seats are pending mainly due to the reason that petitions disputing the election results on these seats remain undecided at the related appellate forums.

ECP fails to issue gazetted notifications: Polls winner of over one seat asked to retain only one seat

Section 98(1) of the Elections Act 2017 reads that on receipt of the final consolidated result from the returning officer, the Commission shall, within 14 days from the date of the polls, publish in the official gazette the name of the contesting candidate who has received the highest number of votes and stands elected.

Keeping in view that the general elections were held on February 8, the ECP was required to issue the gazetted notifications of the poll winners latest by February 22, but it missed this deadline.

Article 91(2) provides that the NA shall meet on the 21st day following the day on which a general election to the Assembly is held, unless sooner summoned by the President. This implies that February 29 is the cut-off date to summon the NA session.

Despite failing to meet the gazette notifications issuance deadline, the ECP, on February 22, asked the candidates, who won more than one seats of the respective assemblies in the general elections, to retain only one seat and vacate the rest—in accordance with the relevant constitutional provisions.

Article 223(2) of the Constitution of Pakistan provides that if a candidate is elected to more than one seats, they shall, within a period of 30 days, after the declaration of the result for the last such seat, resign all but one seat, and if they don’t, all the seats to which they have been elected shall become vacant at the expiration of the 30-day period except the seat to which the candidate has been elected last, or, if they are elected to more than one seat on the same day, the seat for election to the nomination was filed last is to be retained.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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