ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday announced that polls will be held in the last week of January 2024.
The ECP, in a statement issued today, said that the progress on the delimitation was reviewed today in a session held today and it was decided that a preliminary list would be published on September 27.
“After hearing the objections and suggestions on the delimitation, the final list will be published on November 30. After that, elections will be held in the last week of January 2024 following the 54-day election schedule.”
The electoral body was under immense pressure from the political parties regarding the announcement of the election date in the country within the Constitutional time frame.
The National Assembly was dissolved on August 9 on the advice of the-then prime minister Shehbaz Sharif. Under the laws, polls should be held within 60 days if the assembly is dissolved after completing its constitutional term of five years but the NA was dissolved prematurely, setting a 90-day timeline for election.
However, prior to the dissolution of the assembly, the Shehbaz Sharif government approved the 2023 census results after which it became mandatory for the commission to conduct fresh delimitation.
There were fears among political groups that the elections may face delays but the ECP announcement has put to rest all the uncertainty around polls.
Earlier, President Arif Alvi had also written a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, stating that elections should be held by November 6.
Prior to this letter, CEC Raja had declined an invitation by President Alvi to hold consultations on the election date, however, the commission maintained that under the new laws, it is competent to fix the date and there was no need for the meeting.
It is also important to note that, US and UK diplomats, held meetings with the chief election commissioner and urged him to hold transparent and timely polls.