CEC calls on CJP Umar Ata Bandial.. General elections would be delaye. ECP Next general elections would be delayed, the Election Commission of Pakistan announced

CEC Dr. Sikandar Sultan Raja calls on CJP Umar Ata Bandial

Both takes stock of issues related to general elections in country

Election Commission says it has decided to carryout delimitations in the light of the results published of digital census 2023

Assistance has been summoned by ECP from provincial govts & Statistics Division

According to the schedule announced through a notification, the date for the final publication of delimitation is December 14, 2023

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. Sikandar Sultan Raja called on Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday.

As per media reports, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja discussed issues related to the general elections in the country.

Both also discussed about forming new constituencies and decision of the Council of Common Interests (CII).

During the previous day, a constitutional petition was filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan for holding elections in 90 days as well as for nullifying notification of CII regarding approval of new census.

Petition filed under Article 184/3 by President of Supreme Court Bar Association Abid Shahid Zubairi requested the Supreme Court to deliver verdict of holding elections in the country within 90 days.

Next general elections would be delayed. ECP

Confirming the reports that the next general elections would be delayed, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday announced its decision to complete the process of delimitation exercise on the basis of new digital census. The Election Commission of Pakistan said that it has decided to carryout the delimitations in light of the results published of the digital census 2023. In this regard the ECP has issued the schedule on Thursday. The assistance has been summoned by ECP from provincial governments and Statistics Division and important directions have also been issued in this regard by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The decision was taken during the meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. Sikandar Sultan Raja and comprising Member ECP Sindh Nisar Ahmed Durrani, Member ECP Balochistan Shah Muhammad Jatoi, Member ECP Punjab Babar Hassan Bharwana and Member ECP Khyber Pakhtunkwa Justice (retd) Ikramullah Khan.

According to the schedule announced through a notification, the date for the final publication of the delimitation is December 14, 2023. This shows that elections will not take place within the 90-day constitutional period.

“In pursuance of Article 51 of the Constitution and Section 17(2) of the Election Act of 2017, the ECP has approved the schedule for carrying out delimitation of the constituencies afresh in accordance with official results of 7th population and Housing Census-2023,” it read.

Earlier this month, the Council of Common Interests (CCI) approved the results of the 2023 digital census, making it compulsory for the ECP to conduct fresh delimitation — a process that will take nearly four months.

The development was followed by the dissolution of the National Assembly and the farewell of the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government on Aug 9.

Article 224 of the Constitution binds the electoral body to conduct general elections within 90 days of the dissolution. Meanwhile, Section 17(2) of the Elections Act reads, “The commission shall delimit constituencies after every census is officially published.”

Earlier, an ECP official told a private TV channel that the requirement of Article 224 and the legal obligation of conducting delimitation were being thoroughly examined by the body.

He was of the opinion there would be implications if polls were held without fresh delimitation, but had little apprehensions about any implications if the constitutional requirement of holding polls within 90 days was not met.

According to a schedule issued by the ECP on Thursday, the electoral watchdog will complete the delimitation exercise by mid-December.

As a first step, the boundaries of administrative units across the country will be frozen by Aug 17 and delimitation committees for all the provinces and the federal capital will be formed by Aug 21.

The ECP said administrative arrangements for delimitation, including the requisition of maps along with other necessary data, description of districts and tehsils from provinces, obtaining district census reports etc, would be completed between Aug 22-Aug 30.

Training will be provided to the delimitation committees between September 1 to Sep 4. District quotas for national and provincial assemblies will be shared with delimitation committees by Sep 5-Sep 7. Preliminary delimitations of constituencies will be prepared by committees from Sep 8 to Oct 7.

Preliminary delimitations will be published on Oct 9 after which people will present their objections and recommendations to the ECP on the initial delimitation from October 10 to Nov 8. The ECP will hear and decide all objections from November 10 to Dec 9 and the final list of constituencies will be published on December 14.

Separately, the electoral body also issued a list of directives for “all those in service of Pakistan” to assist it in the process of delimitation under Article 220 of the Constitution so that “elections can be held as enshrined in Article 218(3) of the Constitution”.

As per the instructions, the limits of revenue units “shall stand frozen from today” and “there shall be no change in the limits of the revenue units” till the completion of the delimitation process.

It directed its provincial chief secretaries, chief commissioner, federal government and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to provide the ECP with the notification of census changes, census circles and census blocks, maps in respect of census changes along with descriptions, copies of consolidated master maps of urban areas showing census changes/circles/blocks in metropolitan corporations, municipal corporations, municipal committees and town committees, list of revenue units authenticated by the authority with units, latest district maps according to the new census and marking of natural physical features on the maps.