CEC summons 'important' meeting today after president's letter

The chief election commissioner (CEC) convened an “important meeting” on Thursday (today) after President Arif Alvi wrote a letter yesterday to decide date for general elections.

CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja will preside over the meeting while members and secretary of the Election Commission (ECP) will participate. The constitutional matters related to the date of the general election and the invitation of the president will be reviewed.

It may be noted that the president had written a letter to CEC Raja asking him to meet him to fix the date of the general elections.

The president wrote that CEC Raja that he was bound to fix a date for the elections under Article 48 (5) of the Constitution no later than 90 from the date of dissolution of the assembly.

The president asked the CEC to meet him “today or tomorrow so that a decision can be taken regarding the date of the general elections.”

President Alvi wrote that he dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on August 9. Sindh and Balochistan assemblies were also prematurely dissolved to allow the ECP to hold elections within 90 days instead of 60 days if the legislature completed its constitutional tenure.

The ECP showed its inability to hold elections within 90 days as the Council of Common Interest (CCI), days before the dissolution of the assemblies, approved the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023, and under Article 51 (5) of the Constitution new constituencies have to be demarcated according to census results.

However, the ECP schedule showed that fresh delimitation would take nearly four months – until December 2023 – to complete fresh delimitations of constituencies due to which general elections could not be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

Meanwhile, the ECP decide on Wednesday to “consult all major political parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), regarding the date of general elections” that are expected early next year.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt