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Wednesday May 29, 2024

ECP writes to high courts for president’s election

As per past tradition, ECP has also advised the chief justices of relevant high courts to be appointed as Presiding Officer for the purpose

By Kasim Abbasi
February 26, 2024
Paramilitary soldiers stand guard outside the Election Commission of Pakistans building in Islamabad in this undated image. — AFP
Paramilitary soldiers stand guard outside the Election Commission of Pakistan's building in Islamabad in this undated image. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has formally approached all high courts to conduct elections for the president of Pakistan on March 9, 2024.

ECP wrote a letter on 23-02-24 with the subject - Election to the office of the president of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 2024- to all high courts of the country to conduct elections for the presidency by 9th of next month.

As per past tradition, ECP has also advised the chief justices of relevant high courts to be appointed as Presiding Officer for the purpose.

The notification issued by ECP to all high courts stated, “May I draw your kind attention toward, Article 41 of the Constitution, which provides the term, qualification and timelines for Election of the office of the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Attention is invited toward Article 41(4) of the Constitution which provides that:

(4) Election to the office of President shall be held not earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of the President in office:

Provided that, if the election cannot be held within the period aforesaid because the National Assembly is dissolved, it shall be held within thirty days of the general election to the Assembly”.

Further it noted, “In light of the above Article the Election to office of the President is required to be conducted by 09th March, 2024. It is pertinent to mention here the second schedule of the Constitution provides procedure for the conduct of election of the office of the President. As per paragraph 1 of the second schedule of the Constitution, the Chief Election Commissioner acts as the Returning Officer for the conduct of election”.

“Moreover, as per paragraph 2 of second schedule of the Constitution the Presiding Officers have also to be appointed for the conduct of election in the Parliament and for the Provincial Assemblies. As per past tradition the Chief Justices of relevant High Courts are appointed as Presiding Officer for the purpose.

Accordingly, in order to conduct the election of Highest Constitutional office it has been desired by the Hon’ble Election Commission that the Hon’ble Chief Justices of High Court may also be appointed as Presiding Officers. It is therefore, requested that the requisite concurrence of the Hon’ble Chief Justices of High Courts may please be conveyed for issuance of Notification of appointment of Presiding Officers which is to be issued by 26 February, 2024”, said the notification issued by ECP.