Amid ongoing controversy around the timing of general elections, President Arif Alvi on Wednesday released a date for the holding of general elections.
In a letter to the chief election commissioner (CEC), the president said that in the light of Article 48(5) of the Constitution, he has the authority and mandate “to appoint a date not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution [of assemblies], for holding of a general election to the assembly.”
The president said that the National Assembly was dissolved by him on the advice of the then-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif on August 9, 2023. […] 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,” the letter stated.
It also read that in a bid to fulfil the constitutional obligations, the president invited CEC Sikander Sultan Raja for a meeting to devise the modalities of implementing the constitutional intent and mandate for appointing a date, but the latter took a “contrary view” that it was the Election Commission of Pakistan’s domain under the Constitution and framework of electoral laws.
Moreover, the CEC maintained that after the publication of Census 2023 on August 7, the duly notified delimitation of constituencies was in progress as required by Article 51(5) and section 17 of the Elections Act, 2017, the letter added.
It further stated that the Ministry of Law and Justice, all provivincial governments also voiced the same opinion.
Furthermore, President Alvi also called for the general elections to the lower house of parliament and all provincial assemblies to be conducted on the same date.