Schedule for Pakistan general election to be announced 56 days before polling date

World Saturday 02/December/2023 09:36 AM
Schedule for Pakistan general election to be announced 56 days before polling date

Islamabad : The long-awaited timetable for the forthcoming general election is set to be disclosed 56 days prior to the scheduled polling day on February 8, Dawn reported on Saturday.

"You can calculate the date yourself. It would be somewhere around December 14," a senior official of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) told Dawn.

The official also said that all arrangements have been made for free and fair elections after successfully finishing tasks like hearing representations against delimitation and publishing the final list of constituency delimitation in time. So, the ECP is now ready to declare the election schedule.

The official also stated that the chief justices of Sindh, Lahore, and Peshawar High Courts have already denied judicial officers for appointment as district returning officers (DROs) and returning officers (ROs), while a response from the Balochistan High Court is awaited.

He added that the appointment of DROs and ROs is expected soon, with district administration officers likely to take up the duties. The electoral body has scheduled a meeting next week to review preparations for polling and the status of implementing decisions made at the previous meeting, the official added, according to Dawn.

In a related development, an ECP spokesperson said that Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has invited the MQM-P for a meeting on Monday (December 4) to discuss and address the party's apprehensions.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has criticised PTI leader Babar Awan's statements regarding an alleged decrease in National Assembly seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, dismissing it as an effort to sow confusion.

The spokesperson clarified that the 25th Constitutional Amendment in 2018 resulted in the elimination of 12 National Assembly seats in FATA following its merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Contrary to Awan's claims, the National Assembly seats for the province were increased from 39 to 45.

Similarly, the spokesperson explained that in the Provincial Assembly of KP, the general seats have been augmented from 99 to 115. He deemed the lawyer's assertion challenging the ECP's authority to reduce KP's seats as ridiculous.

"As a lawyer, Babar Awan should not do anything outside the Constitution and the law. It is the prerogative of parliament to determine the seats of national and provincial assemblies, and according to the constitutionally allotted seats, the Election Commission has divided the constituencies," he maintained, Dawn reported.