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HomeworldPakistan’s poll body considering Jan 28 as date for 2024 general elections

Pakistan’s poll body considering Jan 28 as date for 2024 general elections

Islamabad: Pakistan’s election commission is considering setting January 28 as the date for the next general election, according to a media report on Friday.

“The top electoral body, commencing its preparations for upcoming elections, is expected to apprise the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) in writing within the next two days,” Geo News, Pakistan’s prominent news outlet, said attributing to sources the date of January 28 for the general elections in 2024.

The ECP is set to apprise the apex court after the top court sought the Commission’s response in the case of timely elections, it said.

The development comes a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said in a statement sought to assure that there was no question of postponing the general election expected to be held in the last week of January 2024 as was announced last month.

The ECP statement was prompted by President Arif Alvi expressing doubts over the timing of the polls in the cash-strapped nation. In an interview with a news channel, Alvi said he did not see polls taking place in January next year and that he had made various “efforts” towards it, including writing letters to the ECP.

The ECP statement elaborated: “The first phase of delimitation has been completed and the second phase of filing objections will be completed tomorrow. (We) would start hearing objections regarding the preliminary delimitation from October 30 and 31 and the final list would be published on November 30.”

Incidentally, before being appointed as Pakistan’s President, Alvi was a founding member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), formed by the jailed former prime minister Imran Khan.

The ECP has earlier stated that the elections would be held in the last week of January but refused to give an exact date despite demands from political parties.

The 90-day limit of holding elections after the dissolution of the National Assembly is set to expire on November 7, which the ECP decided to ignore to carry out a delimitation exercise in the light of the new census held countrywide in March and April of this year.

Since the National Assembly was dissolved three days before the end of its constitutional term, the Constitution mandates that elections be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assembly by November 7.

However, the ECP had said it was constitutionally bound to draw fresh boundaries ahead of the elections as the Council of Common Interest (CCI) had approved the census.

Political analysts in the country have also raised concerns about a possible delay in the polls past January, with several noting that no political party seems in the “election mode,” while some others cautioned about how harsh winters could hamper the polling process.

Pakistan, in the midst of a major economic crisis, has been gripped by political uncertainty ever since the Imran Khan government was removed through a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly in April 2022.

(Published 27 October 2023, 16:49 IST)

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