ECP makes important announcement on election schedule

ECP makes important announcement on election schedule

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Friday that it would expedite the delimitation of constituencies, with the final publication of constituencies now set for November 30, 2023. In a statement, the ECP stated, "To complete the consultation and feedback process with political parties and delimitation of constituencies as early as possible, the ECP has further reduced the time frame for delimitations." This adjustment aims to facilitate prompt elections.

Additionally, the statement noted that the election schedule would be announced in accordance with the revised date for constituency finalization. This announcement followed an 'emergency meeting' convened by the ECP after discussions with various stakeholders. The ECP had previously engaged with political parties to gauge their views on elections and delimitation.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired this crucial meeting in Islamabad, where strategies for expediting the delimitation process were discussed. The ECP had assured the PPP, PML-Q, and TLP delegations, during separate consultative meetings, of its commitment to advancing the delimitation and scheduling the general polls.

It's worth noting that the digital census data for 2023 was provided to the ECP by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics earlier in the week. The ECP is now mandated to conduct the upcoming general polls based on this latest census data, and they have already outlined a schedule for revising constituencies accordingly.

The 90-day constitutional limit for the ECP to hold elections expires on November 9, following the dissolution of the National Assembly on August 9. The ECP previously announced plans to revamp all national and provincial assembly constituencies based on the digital census within 120 days. Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on the electoral body due to the Supreme Court's dismissal of its review petition related to holding polls for the Punjab Assembly on May 14. The ECP must decide whether to hold general elections within 90 days or seek the court's guidance on conducting new delimitation based on the 7th Population Census.