Islamabad (by Muhammad Saleh Zafar, a special analyst): The Election Commission is currently holding crucial meetings with meticulous planning to avoid errors in the electoral delimitation process and to expedite its completion. However, there is no rush to announce the schedule for general elections in the country. The Commission does not intend to engage in the theatrics of hurriedly announcing election dates.
It is highly unlikely that election dates will be announced anytime soon, not even before the end of the current month. The ongoing Commission meetings do not include discussions about the election dates.
This phase of boundary delimitation will be completed smoothly and efficiently. Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja has taken a hands-on approach to ensure the work is completed in such a way that no vested interests can tamper with it.
Committees responsible for overseeing the delimitation process in all four provinces have been established through extensive and rigorous selection, ensuring that individuals with impeccable integrity are part of the process. These committees will also be closely monitored for their members’ conduct and performance.
Political parties have met with the Chief Election Commissioner and Commission members on several occasions, but no significant political group has opposed the completion of the delimitation process according to the constitution.
Regarding the question of election dates for general elections, there is a difference of opinion among these parties. The Chief Election Commissioner and Commission members have made it clear that unnecessary haste will not be applied to expedite completion in areas where time is not a constraint.
This cautious approach is due to the sensitivity of the task, as it lays the foundation for the general elections. The Commission has reduced the time allocated for the delimitation process within the established timeframe.
It is expected that the announcement of election dates for general elections will be made by the Commission by the end of the current month, taking into account factors such as the season, transportation, and security.
The Commission is committed to conducting free, fair, and transparent general elections and has confidence in the responsible administration of the country’s affairs, ensuring that no external pressure interferes. This resolve has been demonstrated multiple times in recent months.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has designated its third floor as a monitoring center specifically for activities related to the general elections. The center is equipped with the latest tools that will oversee pre and post-election activities.
After the completion of the vote count on election day, the results will be sent to this center within moments. During this time, there has been an unrelated development where President Arif Alvi has suddenly become untraceable. He has not been in contact with anyone since last Friday, and his official spokesperson is also unavailable. The continuous denial of phone calls has raised concerns about his whereabouts.
President Alvi had intended to create a stir by announcing the date for general elections last week, but some experts advised him against it and convinced him to stay away from the limelight. As a result, President Alvi’s five-year term is expected to conclude at the end of this month, according to the constitutional deadline. Experts suggested that he should leave the presidential residence and, instead of staying here for another term, use the constitutional prerogative to appoint his successor. However, there is a lack of acceptability for him among the country’s political parties.