Saturday May 18, 2024

Pildat urges elections for all assemblies by October

By Our Correspondent
May 31, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Pildat said Tuesday elections for National Assembly (NA) and four provincial assemblies must be held latest by October 2023 after NA completes its 5-year term on August 12. “The Election Commission of Pakistan must be fully prepared to hold general elections by October 2023 honestly, justly and fairly as is its constitutional obligation,” underscored Pildat in a statement.

Pildat is of the opinion only free and fair and timely general elections can bring back desperately-needed political stability in the country, keeping in view the recent political turmoil. “Pakistan needs a government that has the mandate to take difficult decisions to fix the economy in the next five years after the elections,” it said.

Pildat said the current National Assembly will complete its term on August 12. “A fresh general election for National Assembly and four provincial assemblies must be conducted within 60 days as laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan, which suggests latest conceivable date of October 12 for GE 2023,” Pildat urged.

However, the Pildat stated if National Assembly is dissolved even one day before completion of its term, elections must be held within 90 days, which would make November 11, 2023 final deadline for holding general elections.

Pildat advised under no circumstances date of the general elections should be extended beyond this time. “The accountability of individuals accused of committing a crime such as attacking military properties on May 9 continues, but it should not impede political and electoral process in any way,” the statement said.

Pildat reminded although emergency provisions of Constitution allow extension in the term of National Assembly by up to one year, it may delay NA elections up to October 2024. Such an extension is not possible for the term of provincial assemblies, it said. “Any attempt to defer National Assembly elections under emergency provisions will stagger the schedule of national and provincial assembly elections, which may create a similar situation that led to postponement of elections of provincial assemblies in Punjab and KP beyond constitutional limit of 90 days,” it added.

Pildat urged the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics should complete its 2023 population census findings and Council of Common Interests (CCI) approve the findings in time, so that the ECP is able to complete delimitation of constituencies well in time before the elections in October 2023. Pildat emphasised postponement of general elections beyond October-November 2023 is fraught with serious threats to national polity, economy and integrity.