Spokesman says commission has shortened time for delimitations by Nov 30 n Decision taken after holding consultations with political parties n Elections schedule to be announced keeping Nov 30 date in mind.
ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Friday decided to reduce the timeframe of the delimitation of constituencies for further one month in order to announce election schedule as earliest as possible.
It has been claimed now that the delimitation of constituencies will be completed by November 30.
“The purpose of reducing the timeframe of delimitation is to hold elections as soon as possible," according to the electoral watchdog sharing the argument to reduce the period.
“The polls schedule will be announced keeping this date in mind,” it stated, adding that the decision has been taken after feedback from various political parties. The ECP has been holding consultations with various parties on the electoral roadmap in recent days.
The ECP further argued that its decision to push elections beyond November 9 on the basis of the notification of results of the new digital 2023 census and Section 17(2) of the Elections Act, which states: “The Commission shall delimit constituencies after every census is officially published.”
The ECP also claimed it would carry out work on delimiting constituencies and updating the electoral rolls side by side to ensure the work is done in the minimum possible time.
The ECP also said that a date for the elections will also be announced keeping in view the schedule for the delimitation process, adding that the date was announced after deliberation with the parties.
Earlier in the day, a consultative meeting took place between the ECP and the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) to discuss a roadmap for the coming elections.
The meeting was presided over by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. Fehmida Mirza, Safdar Abbasi, Kashif Nazamani and Ibn Muhammad were part of the GDA delegation while party leaders Sardar Abdul Rahim and Irfanullah Khan Marwat participated via video link. According to a handout issued by the ECP, the GDA delegation assured full support to ECP’s delimitation plan and said that the delimitation was the basis of holding transparent polls.
The Election Commission has held consultations with political parties including Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Muttahida Qoumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Jamiat Ulema Islam-Faiz (JUI-F) and others regarding the road map to general elections.
It may be noted here that almost all the political parties have asked the Commission in the recent consultative meetings to complete the process as soon as possible. In those meetings, the JUI-F, PML-N and MQM-P had backed the ECP to hold general elections after the delimitation while the PTI and PPP had urged the electoral watchdog to drop the process and conduct polls within 90 days. On August 17, the ECP announced the schedule of new delimitations to be carried out as per the new census approved by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) last month. Earlier, the ECP schedule had shown that the fresh delimitation would take nearly four months.
The previous coalition government dissolved the national and provincial assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan prematurely to allow the ECP to hold elections in the country within 90 days instead of 60 days if the legislature completed its constitutional tenure.