The last CCI’s meeting or the final political move?

ISLAMABAD  -  The current political atmo­sphere is still hazy to ascertain the next panorama of the coun­try, as the approval for digital population census in the Coun­cil of Common Interests [CCI] might turn the table. The nod of CCI meeting for new popu­lation census hinges upon ex­tending the tenure of upcoming interim setup in the country. Heavyweights of the coalition government are confident to approve the new census unani­mously in coming days.

The coalition government has almost made up its mind to hand over administration to interim government in next week and give final touches to the nominee of caretaker Prime Minister of the country.

About delay in the general elections, political and consti­tutional experts believed that the caretaker and sitting chief ministers would constitutionally bind the Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] to delay the polls. According to the Article 51(3) of the 1973 Constitution, “the seats in the National Assembly shall be allocated to each prov­ince and the federal capital on the basis of population in accordance with the last preceding census officially published.”

“After the ap­proval of the digital census constitutionally the general elections are to be held on the basis of the latest published census,” they said sharing the expected reason behind the long tenure of the upcoming interim government. Some voices also suggest that the decision can also be chal­lenged as to how caretaker CMs will be illegible to take part in policy decisions.

However, political pundits argued that the approval of the bill to give power to interim setup might help countering this logic, if the President easily gives his consent on the bills be­ing passed hastily in the parlia­ment. This last CCI meet­ing of the present tenure of the coali­tion government is also considered as last political move of the present gov­ernment to consti­tutionally bind the top election body to go for the delimitation of con­stituencies. The delimitation of constituencies cannot be han­dled in less than three months, according to experts. 

The proposal of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics [PBS] to approve the recently held digi­tal population in the Council of Common Interests has already been given in the last week, some insiders told this news­paper. The CCI, as per the agen­da, might give priority to give approval to the recently held digital population census in the country. However, the sched­uled CCI meeting has already been postponed and next sched­ule is still not announced as yet.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has twice shared with the media that the upcoming elections would be held on the basis of the 2023 digital cen­sus. However, he clarified that it would be the prerogative of the Council of Common Inter­est (CCI) to approve the results.

Some other reasons for de­lay in the polls are the law and order situation in the country, as elections cannot be held in the country without clearance from the interior ministry.

The economic situation could also be a possible rea­son to delay the elections, as last year the elections in the two provinces [Punjab and KPK] could not be held due to the paucity of funds.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt