Elections can be delayed until March next year: Sanaullah

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah speaks during a press conference in Islamabad on May 24, 2022. — AFP
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah speaks during a press conference in Islamabad on May 24, 2022. — AFP
  • “MQM-P has proposed Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori for interim PM.”
  • Rana Sanaullay says no name finalised so far for caretaker PM slot.
  • “Constitution mandates fresh delimitation after new census is notified.”

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that the general elections in the country can be delayed until March next year after the Council of Common Interests (CCI) approved the new census, requiring the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to carry out fresh delimitation of constituencies.

“If delimitation of constituencies is carried out then the elections will be held in the third week of February or the first week of March,” the security czar said while speaking on Geo News‘ programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath” on Monday.

The ECP is bound to hold upcoming general elections — earlier scheduled for October or November this year — on the basis of a fresh digital census after the CCI meeting on Saturday “unanimously” approved the 2023 headcount.

According to a statement issued following the meeting, the census 2023 was approved with the consensus of all four chief ministers and representatives of all political parties.

Referring to the CCI decision, Sanaullah also said: “In my opinion, holding fresh delimitation is a constitutional obligation.”

As per the Constitution, he said, two general elections cannot be held on the basis of one census.

The Constitution also mandated that fresh delimitation of the constituencies be held after the results of the new census are officially notified, he added.

He also admitted that political parties had raised various objections to the results of the 2023 census.

Speaking about the appointment of caretaker prime minister, Sanaullah said no name has been finalised for the interim chief executive.

“The MQM-P has proposed the name of [Sindh governor] Kamran Tessori for the post,” the federal minister further said, adding that another coalition partner the “PPP also intended to give one or two names”.

The final name of the caretaker prime minister will come to the fore by tomorrow (Tuesday), he added.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government has announced dissolving the National Assembly prematurely on August 9, allowing the ECP to hold elections within 90 days instead of 60 if the legislature completes its constitutional term on August 12.

A day earlier, Sanaullah revealed that the name of former finance minister Hafeez Shaikh is also shortlisted for the slot of caretaker prime minister.

Speaking during Geo News‘ programme “Naya Pakistan”, the security czar said that name of a retired Supreme Court judge is also included in the list of candidates shortlisted for the coveted post.

“Name for the interim prime minister will be finalised by Tuesday or Wednesday (August 8 or 9),” he added.


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