ECP to announce election schedule

ECP to announce election schedule

In Islamabad today, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is set to unveil the election schedule after convening an 'emergency meeting' following consultations with various stakeholders and is expected to announce the schedule on Friday (Today).

Lately, the ECP has engaged in consecutive discussions with representatives from different political parties to gauge their stance on matters like elections and delimitation. In this significant gathering, presided over by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja in Islamabad, the ECP is expected to explore ways to expedite the delimitation process.

A day earlier, the commission pledged to fast-track constituency delimitation and subsequently announce a schedule for the upcoming general elections, allaying concerns of potential delays that could extend the interim government's rule. The ECP reassured delegations from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) during separate consultations at the ECP Secretariat in the federal capital.

These discussions with political parties occurred in light of the ECP's previous announcement ruling out elections for the current year. Earlier this week, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) supplied the necessary data from the 2023 digital census to the election supervisory body. The digital census took place from March to May this year, and the results were officially released after approval from the Council of Common Interest (CCI) on August 5, shortly before the dissolution of the National Assembly. Following this approval, the ECP is obligated to conduct the upcoming general elections based on the latest census data, and the election supervisor has already outlined a schedule for constituency realignment.

Former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, three days prior to the constitutionally mandated deadline. The Constitution stipulates a 90-day limit for the ECP to organize elections, which expires on November 9. On August 17, the election supervisor announced its intention to revise all national and provincial assembly constituencies in line with the digital census within 120 days. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court's dismissal of the ECP's review petition regarding the May 14 polls for the Punjab Assembly has placed pressure on the electoral body to either hold general elections within 90 days or seek the court's guidance on the issue of conducting new delimitation based on the 7th Population Census.