Sunday, July 7, 2024
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HomePakistanGeneral Elections Can Be Postponed till March 2024: Interior Minister

General Elections Can Be Postponed till March 2024: Interior Minister

The upcoming general elections in the country might be delayed until March of next year, according to statements by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah. The delay is being considered due to the necessity of conducting a fresh delimitation of constituencies based on the recently completed 2023 census, as mandated by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

During recent interview, Minister Sanaullah explained that if the process of delimiting constituencies is carried out, the elections could be held in either the third week of February or the first week of March in 2024.

This potential shift in the election timeline comes after the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting held on Saturday, where the 2023 census was unanimously approved by all four chief ministers and representatives of various political parties. The decision, Sanaullah emphasized, is in line with constitutional obligations.

The minister highlighted that the Constitution stipulates that fresh delimitation of constituencies must occur after the official notification of census results. It also prevents the holding of two general elections based on a single census. Although objections have been raised by some political parties regarding the 2023 census results, the decision to proceed with delimitation has been made.

Regarding the selection of a caretaker prime minister, Sanaullah revealed that no final decision has been reached. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has proposed Kamran Tessori, the Sindh governor, for the position. Additionally, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is also considering nominating one or two candidates for the role. The announcement of the caretaker prime minister’s name is expected by Tuesday.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government recently announced the premature dissolution of the National Assembly on August 9. This move would allow the ECP to conduct elections within 90 days, instead of the standard 60 days, if the constitutional term of the legislature concludes on August 12.

Sanaullah also disclosed that the former finance minister, Hafeez Shaikh, is being considered for the caretaker prime minister position. The list of potential candidates includes the name of a retired Supreme Court judge.

Read more: It will take more than five months to hold elections using 2023 census, states law minister

The final decision regarding the interim prime minister’s appointment is anticipated to be reached by Tuesday or Wednesday, as confirmed by the interior minister.

The possibility of delaying the general elections until March 2024 is under consideration due to the need for fresh constituency delimitation based on the 2023 census. This decision aligns with constitutional obligations, and various political parties are actively participating in the selection process for the caretaker prime minister. The final outcome is expected to be unveiled in the coming days.

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