ECP clears the air by announcing general elections in last week of January
Preliminary delimitations list of constituencies will be available on Sept 27
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has finally announced that the general elections will be held in the country in the last week of January 2024.
In an announcement on Thursday, the ECP said preliminary delimitations' list of constituencies would be available on Sept 27.
After hearing the objections and suggestions on the constituencies, it said, the final list would be released on Nov 30.
According to the ECP, a draft code of conduct has been shared with the political parties to have their feedback.
What the draft code says
The draft code says "the political parties, candidates and election agents shall not propagate any opinion, or act in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or morality or public order, or the integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or brings into ridicule any government institution including the judiciary and the armed forces."
Earlier, the ECP had said the elections were not possible this year as there was a need for fresh delimitation of constituencies on the basis of digital census.
What law says
The National Assembly was dissolved three days before the end of its constitutional term therefore, Article 224 of the Constitution mandates that elections be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assembly by Nov 7.
But at the same time, Section 17(2) of the Elections Act states that “the commission shall delimit constituencies after every census is officially published.”
President suggests Nov 6 as election date
In a letter written to Chief Election Commission Sikandar Sultan Raja a few days ago, the president proposed Nov 6 as date for the general elections in the country.
“The National Assembly was dissolved by the president on the advice of the prime minister on August 9, 2023.
“WHEREAS Article 48(5) of the Constitution empowers and mandates the President "to appoint a date not later than ninety days from the date of the dissolution, for the holding of a general election to the Assembly," reads the letter.
“WHEREAS in terms of Article 48(5) the general election to the National Assembly should be held by the eighty-ninth day of the date of dissolution of the National Assembly, i.e. Monday 6th Day of November 2023,” it added.
صدر مملکت ڈاکٹر عارف علوی کا چيف الیکشن کمشنر ، سکندر سلطان راجہ، کے نام خط— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) September 13, 2023
صدر مملکت نے 9 اگست کو وزیراعظم کے مشورے پر قومی اسمبلی کو تحلیل کیا، صدر مملکت pic.twitter.com/5W88oKxX62
In an endeavour to fulfil the constitutional obligations, the president said he had invited the Chief Election Commissioner for a meeting to devise the modalities of implementing the constitutional intent and mandate, adding that the ECP in reply took “a contrary view that as per the scheme of the Constitution and framework of electoral laws, it was the domain of the Election Commission, and following publication of last preceding census on 07.08.2023, duly notified delimitation of constituencies was in progress, a mandatory requirement stipulated by Article 51(5) of the Constitution and section 17 of the Elections Act, 2017.”