Monday, February 26, 2024
Monday, February 26, 2024
HomeTop NewsPresident Invites CEC for Meeting to Decide Appropriate General Election Date

President Invites CEC for Meeting to Decide Appropriate General Election Date

In a move to establish a suitable date for the forthcoming general elections, President Arif Alvi has extended an invitation to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja. The President’s intent is to hold a meeting either today or tomorrow with CEC Raja, aiming to finalize a date that aligns with legal requirements.

President Alvi’s letter to the head of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) emphasized the Constitutional obligation outlined in Article 48 (5). This article dictates that the President must appoint an election date no later than 90 days from the dissolution of the assembly.

The current administration, led by Shehbaz Sharif, dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, concurrently with the premature dissolution of the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies. This decision was made to grant the electoral authority an extended period of 90 days to conduct elections, as opposed to the standard 60 days, should the legislative body complete its constitutional term.

However, a potential obstacle arises as the Council of Common Interest (CCI) ratified the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023 just prior to the assembly dissolutions. The results of this census, reporting a population of 241.49 million and a growth rate of 2.55%, were constitutionally sanctioned by the CCI. The subsequent effect is the mandatory requirement for the Election Commission to carry out elections following the newly established boundaries based on the census data.

Article 51 (5) of the Constitution stipulates the allocation of National Assembly seats to provinces and the federal capital based on the latest official census data. Accordingly, the CEC announced on August 17 that new delimitations, guided by the census data, would be undertaken.

Anticipating the timeline for these activities, the Election Commission released a schedule outlining the process of fresh delimitations. It is estimated that this process will take approximately four months, leading to the conclusion that the general elections cannot feasibly be conducted within the 90-day window after the dissolution of provincial and national assemblies.

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President Alvi’s initiative to meet with CEC Raja is an essential step in navigating this constitutional challenge. As the nation awaits a resolution, the collaboration between the President and the Election Commissioner will play a crucial role in determining a fair and practical date for the upcoming general elections.

Stay tuned for further developments as the country progresses toward this significant political event.

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