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Sunday April 14, 2024

Presidential poll schedule today: ECP

Schedule for election of the president will be issued on Friday (today), as there is a likelihood of conducting polls on March 9

By Mumtaz Alvi
March 01, 2024
A security personnel stands guard at the headquarters of Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad. — AFP/File
A security personnel stands guard at the headquarters of Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday said the public notice and schedule for election of the president will be issued on Friday (today), as there is a likelihood of conducting polls on March 9.

According to an ECP spokesman, as per the Constitution, a day would be fixed for 0submission of nomination papers. According to the proposed programme, candidates would be able to submit their nomination papers to any presiding officer till 12pm on March 2.

“Interested candidates can get their nomination papers from the Election Commission Secretariat Islamabad and provincial election commissioners from Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. For further information and guidance, the Election Commission Secretariat on telephone number 9219335-051 be contacted,” he noted.

While the ECP is yet to decide on the application of the Sunni Ittehad Council for allotment of reserved seats for women and minorities, while PMLN, PPP and MQM are contenders for distribution of remaining reserved seats accordingly.

Likewise, the electoral body faces a new situation, after some members of the Senate resigned and took oath as members of the National Assembly during its inaugural session on Thursday. They include Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Yusuf Raza Gilani and Nuzhat Sadiq, some resigned to become members of the provincial legislatures.

The development has taken place less than two weeks before half of the senators were to complete their six-year term. Nisar Khuhro and Jam Mehtab are among those whose term was to end in 2027, have resigned.

“The Election Commission will have deliberations on the new developments possibly on Friday, as there are mainly three prepositions at hand: conduct of presidential elections, how to deal with the situation after some members of the Senate resigned just ahead of the presidential polls and the Senate elections to fill seats, which are to fall vacant by March 11,” a senior ECP official said.

Similarly, some by-elections are also due in the wake of members, who got elected on more than seats and like Maryam Nawaz, who won from NA’s constituency as well as Punjab Assembly constituency and decided to spare the NA seat and has been elected as first woman chief minister of the largest province.

Section 127 of the Elections Act, 2017, reads: Casual vacancy.—“(1) When, before the expiration of the term of the office of a member elected to the Senate, his seat becomes vacant or is declared vacant or his election to the Senate is declared void, the Commission shall, by notification in the official Gazette, call upon the Members of the Provincial Assembly 1 [or the National Assembly], as the case may be, to elect a person for the purpose of filling the vacancy on such date as may be specified in the notification; and the provisions of this Act and the Rules shall apply, in relation to the election of a Member to fill the vacancy.

“(2) When the seats of two or more Members, who were elected to the Senate by a Provincial Assembly 2 [or the National Assembly], become vacant, as the case may be, and whose term of office was due to expire on the same day become vacant simultaneously, elections to fill such seats may be held together.

“(3) When the seats of two or more Members, who were elected to the Senate by a Provincial Assembly 3 [or the National Assembly] and whose term of office was due to expire on different dates become vacant simultaneously, elections to fill such seats may be held separately.”