General elections may be held by mid-February: ECP tells ANP

ISLAMABAD  -  The Election Commission of Paki­stan (ECP) Wednesday assured rep­resentatives of Awami National Par­ty (ANP) that the general elections could be held by mid-February, and if the constituency delimitation was completed earlier, the elections might take place sooner. 

In a consultative meeting with the ECP to outline the election roadmap, the ANP has requested that if con­ducting the election within 90 days was not feasible, they be provided with the election date and schedule. 

After a meeting with the ECP, Mian Iftikhar conveyed that the Election Commission affirmed its readiness for mid-February elections and expressed its commitment to fast-track constitu­ency delimitation to potentially enable earlier elections.

ANP leaders Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Zahid Khan conveyed that they had expressed the party’s viewpoint. They highlighted that, in accordance with the constitution, holding the election within 90 days was obligatory.

They mentioned that the ANP was not extended an invitation to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting. In response, the ECP highlighted that once the census is sanctioned, the cre­ation of new constituencies becomes unavoidable.

Mian Iftikhar pointed out that the assembly’s premature dissolution, occurring shortly before its tenure completion, led to a month-long delay in fresh elections. Mian Iftikhar said that the dissolution of the assembly, a few days earli­er before completion of tenure was the reason to delay by one month. 

Mian Iftikhar said that the Election Commission had assured that they were ready for the elections by mid-February and it was told that they would try to complete the constituencies’ de­limitation quickly so that the elections could be held earlier.

He stressed the need for a level playing field among all parties. Zahid Khan communicated to the Election Commission their reservations regarding the digital census, citing a decline in Pe­shawar’s population following its introduction.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt