General elections most likely will take place by end of January

Pakistan Election Commission’s announcement ends uncertainty about fate of polls n ECP will announce exact date of vote later n Spokesperson says commission decides to hold elections after completion of delimitation processes n Election date announcement a positive development, says Murtaza Solangi.


ISLAMABAD  -  The Election Commission of Pa­kistan (ECP) has decided to con­duct the general elections in the last week of January 2024, fol­lowing the completion of the de­limitation processes, delaying the vote which was to be held in November under the Constitu­tion. The Election Commission will announce the exact date of the vote later.

In a statement issued on Thurs­day, the ECP spokesperson men­tioned that the commission will publish the definitive list of con­stituencies on November 30. Sub­sequently, the general election schedule, spanning 54 days, will be announced in preparation for the elections.

In a Thursday meeting, the Election Commission of Paki­stan (ECP) reviewed the prog­ress made by the constituen­cy delimitation committees and decided to publish the prelim­inary list of constituencies on September 27.

The ECPs’ announcement has dispelled the impression of delay­ing the polls for a long time. The caretaker government has also immediately welcomed the ten­tative schedule for the polls. The top election regulatory body, in an important meeting, stressed that preliminary delimitations will be completed later this month, and a provisional list will be published by September 27, 2023.

Hence, the process of filing of, reviewing and disposing of objections and suggestions by stakeholders and political par­ties will commence, which will be completed with the publica­tion of final delimitations by No­vember 30, 2023. 

The ECP before issuing this tentative schedule has also scheduled its meeting with po­litical parties to discuss the code of conduct for general elections. The commission, inside sourc­es said, will give the final sched­ule of the elections after meeting with the political parties.

The commission has recently received a letter from President Arif Alvi for setting the date of general election by November 6, 2023. The letter came against the backdrop of reports that the president would unilateral­ly announce a date for the elec­tions. In the letter, the president argued that he had dissolved the National Assembly on the prime minister’s advice on Au­gust 9, so the polls should be held within 90 days. 

The commission has set a firm deadline for its delimi­tation of constituencies com­mittee, as it has been tasked with finalizing its work by September 26, with a rapid plan to publish preliminary delimitations very next day, on September 27.

The ECP’s chief had also re­cently held separate meet­ings with US envoy Ambassa­dor Donald Blome and British High Commissioner to Paki­stan Jane Marriot over the upcoming polls in the coun­try. “We agree that it’s crucial the country sees free, credi­ble, transparent and inclusive elections in line with the law,” said Jane Marriot after meet­ing with CEC shared his com­ments on X – formally known as Twitter. The country’s main political parties includ­ing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples’ Par­ty (PPP) and others recent­ly asked the Election Com­mission to hold polls at the earliest to end prevailing un­certainty in the country. The political parties in its upcom­ing meeting will also push the commission to not delay the polls. The PTI has also reject­ed the tentative date for the general elections.

Meanwhile. Caretaker Fed­eral Minister for Informa­tion and Broadcasting Mur­taza Solangi Thursday said that the announcement of the election date by the Election Commission of Pa­kistan (ECP) was a positive development.

Addressing a news confer­ence, he welcomed the an­nouncement on behalf of the caretaker government. 

It was a moment of delight that the election would be held in line with the law and the Constitution.

Flanked by Caretaker Fed­eral Minister for Privatiza­tion Fawad Hassan Fawad, he said it was a day of despair for rumour-mongers as the ECP made the announcement regarding general elections which would be held in the last week of January 2024.

The ECP had said that all the groundwork would be completed by November 30 and political parties would be given 54 days for the election campaign in line with the Election Act 2017, he added. Murtaza Solan­gi said the country would be run by elected represen­tatives of the people which would bring political and economic stability.


Minister for Privatization Fawad Hassan Fawad has clarified that the process of privatization being pursued by the caretaker government is strictly within the very mandate entrusted upon it by the previous elected gov­ernment. He was addressing a news conference alongside Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solan­gi in Islamabad on Thursday.

The minister refuted the impression that the caretak­er government has extend­ed the privatisation process under some policy. He men­tioned the amendment made by the previous government in section 230 of the Elec­tions Act in which the man­date of caretaker government was expanded to contin­ue the policies for the sake of continuity. Fawad Has­san Fawad said privatization process has certain timelines which cannot be skipped oth­erwise the financial costs of delay in these transactions will directly burden the na­tional economy causing in­crease in fiscal deficit and up­surge in inflation. 

He clarified that the care­taker government has not added any institution or or­ganisation in the list of ‘to be privatized’ entities rath­er these are all those which were enlisted after due delib­erations by the elected gov­ernments. The minister said media should avoid baseless news and the government is open for all queries or confu­sion regarding any issue and it be given chance to respond and clarify the position.

The minister said the pur­pose of privatisation is to make these entities profitable and add value in their ser­vices for the people. He said PIA was facing financial issues hampering its regular func­tioning therefore funds were issued within forty hours to meet its needs. About Pa­kistan Steel Mills, the Minis­ter said its existing one point million ton capacity will be in­creased to three million ton after its privatization. Only its operational assets will be pri­vatized and not those outside the operational area. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Information said the situa­tion is clear after the Election Commission’s announcement today regarding the general elections to be held by the end of January 2024.

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