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Monday, July 22, 2024

Elections cannot be held within 90 days due to the ECP’s delimitation plan.


“Fresh delimitation will take nearly four months,” according to ECP’s program.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) published the schedule of delimitations on Thursday, which means that the forthcoming polls would not take place within 90 days following the dissolution of the legislatures.

The revised census agreed by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) earlier this month will be used to delimit the constituencies.

According to the plan, the new delimitation of seats across the country would be announced in December of this year, with the entire process taking about four months.

According to the ECP, constituency delimitation will take place across the country from September 8 to October 7.

It stated that proposals for constituencies will be accepted from October 10 through November 8.

The electoral authority said that the quotas for national and provincial assemblies will be assigned from September 5 to September 7.

It further stated that administrative problems concerning seats will be finalised by August 31, and constituency committees for four provinces, including Islamabad, will be formed by August 21.

The electoral commission stated that it will rule on constituency objections from November 10 to December 9, noting that the final publication of the digital census has been done.

The ECP is required by the Election Act to create new borders for hundreds of province and national assembly constituencies across the country, according to the statement.

Earlier this month, the CCI meeting, presided over by then-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, authorised the final results of the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023, which reported the country’s population at 241.49 million, with a 2.55% growth rate.

The CCI ruling made it constitutionally required for the ECP to hold elections following new delimitations based on the findings of the seventh census.

According to Article 51 (5) of the Constitution, the seats of the National Assembly in each province and the federal capital are allocated based on population based on the most recent publicly published census.

The administration of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) dissolved the national and provincial assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan prematurely to allow the ECP to organise elections in the country within 90 days rather than 60 days if the legislature finished its constitutional duration.

Former federal ministers, notably Rana Sanaullah, have stated that elections in the country could be postponed till March of next year due to constituency delimitation.

The Supreme Court filed an appeal against the CCI’s ruling.
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) petitioned the Supreme Court on Wednesday, requesting that the ECP announce a date for elections to the national and provincial assemblies in accordance with Article 224(2) of the Constitution.

The top attorneys’ body petitioned the Supreme Court to stay the CCI’s ruling from August 5.

Raising concerns about the decision reached at the CCI and SCBA meeting on August 5, the interim chief ministers were not allowed to attend.

“The meeting of Respondent No. 2 [CCI] took place on 05.08.2023, in the presence of the prime minister, the chief ministers of Sindh and Balochistan, the caretaker chief ministers of Respondents No. 3 (Punjab) and 4 [KP], and other federal ministers,” the plea stated.


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