Ministers see months delay in elections

ISLAMABAD  -   Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif have said there is a possibility that the next general elections may face delay.

The federal coalition government is going to dissolve the National Assembly today paving way for the caretaker setup to conduct the general elections in the country as per the Constitution.

However, when asked if the year 2023 is the year of elections during a news segment aired on a private news channel on Tuesday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said there is no chance of elections this year.

When asked about the possibility of a caretaker setup being around for more than three months, Sanaullah said that this is not an anomaly. He said according to the Constitution, a second election cannot be held based on the 2017 census as that had been accepted "provisionally for a single time". The 2018 general elections were held on the basis of the 2017 census.He stressed that it is deemed necessary according to the Constitution that “once a census is notified, delimitation must be done before holding an election”. The caretaker government will complete this constitutional process and carry out the delimitation process, added the interior minister, elaborating that this process typically takes around 120 days so it is not like the elections being delayed for many months. Similarly, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif while talking to a foreign TV channel said that under the Constitution elections are to be held within 90 days of the dissolution of assemblies. Asif said that the 90-day deadline cannot be missed but “under some conditions, the Election Commission has the power to delay it”. He elaborated that this could happen due to an election problem or a census problem or an electoral role problem. But this delay could only happen “for a month or two but not beyond that”, he added.

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