Monday May 27, 2024

ECP making arrangements for holding general elections

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
February 13, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is concentrating on making arrangements for holding the next general elections in the country as census and delimitations of constituencies are among its top priorities.

An important huddle of high echelon is taking place in the commission today (Monday) to take up certain other topics, including the letter written by President Arif Alvi to the commission and the directive of Lahore High Court’s single bench asking it to hold the polls of the provincial assembly within 90 days of its dissolution.

Highly-placed sources in the commission told The News on Sunday that the commission will decide about intimating the president on the feedback of the Defence Ministry, where it has shown its inability to provide army, Rangers and paramilitary forces in required number, reply of the judiciary on non-availability of personnel for polls duty and Finance Ministry’s inability to provide funds for the elections.

The sources added the president will also be informed about the ongoing digital census in the country that would be followed by delimitations of constituencies. Above all, the reports on precarious law and order situation would also be a part of the reply to be submitted to the president.

The sources said that the meeting will also take up bashing of the commission by a political leader, adding that the ECP may issue him a time-bound notice to explain his position in the matter. Interestingly, the commission had issued such notices to the PTI leaders last year, where they tendered unconditional apology.

The sources reminded that the commission could invoke the Election Act’s relevant articles for consultations with the president for a possible schedule for elections. The high echelon meeting would take place behind closed doors and it would be chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Raja Sikandar Sultan. It is unlikely that any date for the election of the dissolved provincial assemblies would be announced in the wake of the huddle. The arrangements for by-elections on the National Assembly’s vacant seats would also come under scrutiny, the sources added.