No excuse left to avoid polls in Jan

ISLAMABAD  -  The Election Com­mission of Paki­stan [ECP] will face immense pressure from political par­ties, in the days to come, to clear the mist and announce the schedule for the general elections as per its com­mitment to conduct polls in January.

Though the election regulato­ry body has planned to hold discus­sion over ‘Code of Conduct’ for the polls 2024, the political parties invit­ed for discussion would mostly pre­fer to push for an announced sched­ule. The last legal and constitutional hitch is the finalization of ‘delimita­tion of constituencies’, which can help the regulatory body to argue with the political forces. The delimitation of constituen­cies as per schedule will be fi­nalized by the end of November.

The political parties’ first meeting with the Commission remained more or less indeci­sive as the rest of the matters regarding assurances of imme­diate result at each constituen­cy etc.

Political and constitutional experts viewed that the Com­mission has recently asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to en­gage international observers for the upcoming general elections, which is the main hint of its se­riousness to honour its commit­ment for holding elections as per stated in its tentative schedule.

Leaders of the main political parties have also started their political campaigns in their re­spective constituencies and it will further gain momentum in the month of November, after the expected return of PML-N supremo Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to the country this month.

The rest of main parties, es­pecially PPP, political pundits believed, are set to make their election strategy after the re­turn of Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in his ongoing campaign, has only been stress­ing to hold the polls as early as possible.

The main political play­ers, talking to this newspaper, shared that MQM-P, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf [PTI] and Pa­kistan Peoples Party are cur­rently in favour of avoiding de­lay in elections.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf [PTI], despite facing a hard time, has already asked the electoral watchdog to hold the polls even ignoring delimitation of constituencies. 

The delimitation of constit­uencies was consented in the era of Shehbaz Sharif govern­ment through the Council of Common Interests [CCI]. This is considered as the main stum­bling block behind the extraor­dinary delay in the upcoming elections. The political parties are also currently eying on their election symbols that would fi­nally be allotted soon.

The political forces, after fi­nalization of the election schedule, will start the process of awarding tickets to suitable candidates. In the current un­sure political situation, politi­cal heavyweights viewed, will not be politically appropri­ate to finalize the process of awarding tickets.

The senior members of the election regulatory body, desir­ing not to be named, said that the Commission has full prepa­ration of holding the polls by the end of January 2024. The weath­er condition could be the only factor for the expected little de­lay in the elections, otherwise no reason is left to delay the consti­tutional exercise.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt