ECP Guarantees Mid-February Elections Despite Delay Concerns
Islamabad – The scheduled general elections for this year are encountering a delay due to the necessary processes of conducting a census and defining new constituency boundaries, a task expected to take several months.
In response to the concerns expressed by various political parties, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has provided assurance that the elections could potentially take place by mid-February. They even hinted at the possibility of an earlier date if the delimitation process concludes sooner.
Recently, the Awami National Party (ANP) urged an electoral oversight body to organize the election within a 90-day period and requested a specific election date and timetable.
After a meeting, the ECP reassured the ANP, a party based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), about the mid-February election timeline, reiterating their commitment to expedite the delimitation process for an earlier voting schedule.
Meanwhile, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) also engaged in discussions with senior officials from the Election Commission to address matters concerning the election date and schedule.
As political parties, activists, and local entities criticized the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to extend elections beyond the constitutional limit of 90 days, the electoral authority defended its stance.
In an official statement, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) highlighted that a fresh delimitation of constituencies is a constitutional necessity for conducting elections. They emphasized that updated electoral rolls are vital for ensuring genuine representation of voters, without which the democratic process would be compromised.
The ECP emphasized that accurate representation of voters, candidates, and political entities is a foundational principle of constitutional democracy, and the delimitation process is projected to conclude by December 14, just over a month beyond the original deadline for conducting the general elections.
Furthermore, the ECP maintained that the recently published population census has led to significant changes in population distribution at both the provincial and district levels, thus necessitating these adjustments in constituencies.