General elections to take place in last week of January: ECP

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced that the general elections in the country will take place in the last week of January 2024. This announcement comes after the ECP reviewed the progress on the delimitation process, which is being carried out in accordance with the new census.

The ECP stated that a preliminary list of delimitations will be published on September 27, and the final list of constituencies will be released on November 30 after considering objections and suggestions related to the delimitations. Following this process, the elections will be held in the last week of January 2024, following a 54-day election schedule.

This announcement resolves the uncertainty surrounding the election date, as the previous government’s approval of a new census mandated the ECP to conduct new delimitations before holding elections. There were concerns that this process might cause a delay in the polls.

The premature dissolution of national and provincial assemblies in August required the ECP to hold elections within a 90-day time frame, meaning the polls should have taken place no later than November 6. However, the ECP stated that it was constitutionally obligated to redraw boundaries before the elections, making it impossible to hold elections within the 90-day period.

Key political parties in Pakistan, as well as the United States and the United Kingdom, have called for free, fair, and timely elections in the country. President Arif Alvi had suggested a cut-off date for holding polls, citing his authority to appoint a date for the general election within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly. However, the ECP maintained that the president no longer had the power to set the election date after amendments in election laws.