The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Friday condemned the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) decision to initiate fresh delimitations leading to the postponement of elections beyond stipulated 90-day limit.
On Aug 17, the ECP unveiled a schedule for delimitation concerning provincial and national constituencies, with the goal of completing this process by Dec 14. This decision, stemming from the recent approval of census results by the Council of Common Interests, effectively signifies that elections cannot take place in 2023.
In a press release, PBC Vice Chairman Haroonur Rashid and Executive Committee chairman Hassan Raza Pasha expressed serious concerns regarding the ECP's decision.
They labelled the "delimitation schedule for redrawing constituencies issued by the commission" as a deliberate strategy to postpone the elections. They emphasised that Article 224 of the Constitution mandates the ECP to hold general elections within 90 days of assembly dissolution.
The PBC said it's the ECP's responsibility to conduct impartial, equitable, and transparent elections within the specified timeframe mandated by the constitution. The press release underscored that free and fair elections were the only viable solution to address the country's current challenging economic situation.
The PTI and PPP also rejected the delimitation schedule, considering it a manoeuvre to delay the elections.