Politics

ECP Sets Feb 11 as Election Date, SC Seeks President’s Consultation

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced that the next general elections will be held on February 11, 2024, after completing the delimitation process by November 30. The ECP’s lawyer shared the election schedule with the Supreme Court on Thursday during the hearing of petitions seeking timely polls in the country. The petitions were filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others against the delay in polls.

The ECP’s lawyer said that the commission had decided to hold the elections on Sunday to facilitate the voters. He also said that all arrangements, including the issuance of final lists of constituencies, would be completed by January 29.

However, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa asked the ECP’s lawyer whether President Arif Alvi was on board with the election date or not. He said that under the Constitution, the president has the power to fix the election date. He directed the chief election commissioner to consult with the president and report back to the court.

The country has been facing political uncertainty since April 2022, when Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted by a no-confidence motion. The Shehbaz Sharif-led government, which took over from Khan, dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, while Sindh and Balochistan assemblies were also dissolved prematurely.

The ECP decided not to hold the polls within 90 days as required by the Constitution, because the Council of Common Interest (CCI) had approved the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023 days before the dissolution of the assemblies. The census results are used for delimiting constituencies according to population.

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