The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has officially announced the date for the upcoming general elections in the country. As per the recent announcement, the much-awaited general elections are set to take place in the final week of January.
The election commission has outlined its timeline for this crucial electoral process. The initial list of constituencies is scheduled to be unveiled on September 27, 2023. Following this, the final and definitive list will be released on November 30, 2023. This meticulous approach has been adopted to allow sufficient time for addressing objections and incorporating valuable suggestions related to the constituencies. The presentation of the finalized list is slated for November 30, 2023.
Consequently, the general elections are scheduled to occur 54 days after this pivotal announcement.
It is noteworthy that various political parties had been actively advocating for early and transparent general elections in the country. There were calls for the intervention of a caretaker government in the election process. However, the caretaker government has emphatically stated that the responsibility for scheduling the elections lies solely with the Election Commission. They have underscored that the precise date for the upcoming general elections will be determined by the Election Commission.
Last month, US Ambassador Donald Blome also met CEC Sikander Sultan Raja to reaffirm his country’s support for “free and fair elections”, reiterating that choosing Pakistan’s future leaders is for the Pakistani people to decide.
The development came days after President Arif Alvi suggested a cut-off date for the holding of polls in a letter to CEC Raja.
The president had 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.”
[…] 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.
However, the ECP had maintained that the president was no longer empowered to fix the date for polls after amendments in election laws.