PTI reiterates call for election within 90 days as ECP kicks off consultation with political parties

  • Poll watchdog meets JUI-F, PTI delegation on election roadmap. 
  • Former ruling party also asks for an equal political environment. 
  • ECP assures both parties of holding polls as soon as possible.

ISLAMABAD: The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has backed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold general elections after the delimitation while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has urged the electoral watchdog to drop the process and conduct polls with 90 days.

Both parties made their position clear when ECP officials met them as part of its consultations with major political parties on the election roadmap.

The electoral watchdog in a statement said that the PTI representatives emphasised that the elections should be held within 90 days and contested that there was “no need for delimitation at this time”.

The Imran Khan-led party also called for the immediate release of its arrested leaders and workers and urged the ECP to give permission to hold political rallies and an equal political environment to all parties.

On the other hand, the JUI-F representatives clarified that holding elections is a constitutional requirement and informed the electoral authority that as the census results have come the delimitation should be done first.

The election commission told both parties that it would hold the upcoming polls as soon as possible and all parties would get a level playing field.

The statement also added that the process of consultation with major political parties will continue in the coming days.

Earlier this week it was reported that ECP has decided to consult all major political parties, including the PTI, regarding the date of general elections that are expected early next year, sources had told Geo News.

According to the sources, the political parties will be consulted separately, with the consultations revolving around the election roadmap as well as issues related to delimitation and voter lists.

The ECP’s meeting with the political parties, the sources added, is expected to begin in the next few days.

Back then the major parties that the sources had shared the electoral watchdog would be holding meetings with include Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami National Party (ANP). The ECP has held the meeting with only JUI-F and PTI.

The Shehbaz Sharif-led government dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, while Sindh and Balochistan assemblies were also prematurely dissolved to allow the electoral authority to hold elections in the country within 90 days instead of 60 days if the legislature completed its constitutional tenure.

However, the ECP may not be able to hold the polls within the stipulated time as the Council of Common Interest (CCI), days before the dissolution of the assemblies, approved the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023.

The CCI meeting chaired by then-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif approved the final results of the census reporting the country’s population at 241.49 million with a growth rate of 2.55%.

The CCI approval made it constitutionally mandatory for the poll watchdog to hold elections following fresh delimitations in the light of the results of the 7th census.

According to Article 51 (5) of the Constitution, the seats of the National Assembly to each province and the federal capital shall be allocated on the basis of population in accordance with the last preceding census officially published.

Subsequently, on August 17, the ECP announced the schedule of new delimitations to be carried out as per the new census approved by the CCI.

As per the schedule, the new delimitation of constituencies nationwide will be notified in December this year.

The ECP schedule showed that fresh delimitation will take nearly four months, meaning the general elections in the country cannot be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the provincial and national assemblies.


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