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According to the ECP, polls could be held in October in response to the president's letter.

According to the ECP, polls could be held in October in response to the president's letter.


ISLAMABAD: In response to the president's letter, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said on Thursday that four more months are needed to hold general elections in October in a manner that is honest, just, and fair, as stipulated in Article 18 (3) of the Constitution.

The ECP requested a meeting with the president for further considerations in a letter delivered to the president's additional secretary. The president had addressed the commission a letter requesting that elections be held in 90 days. The commission was requested in the letter to suggest a date for elections within 90 days of the National Assembly's dissolution on April 3. In this regard, it was said that Article 48 of the Constitution(5) (A) and Article 224 (2) of the Constitution, the president must choose a date for general elections that is not more than 90 days after the National Assembly is dissolved.

The ECP reiterated that it is not the exclusive power to make decisions about election administration and that it is legally reliant on the federal government and provincial governments for essential comments. "Any delay in the conduct of delimitation cannot be attributed to the commission by any stretch of the imagination if any government fails to do its duty and help the commission." According to the law, constituency delimitation takes at least four months."

The letter detailed the dates for notifying the national census 2017, as well as how and when it had written to the prime minister, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, and other relevant organisations, as delimitation of seats was impossible without notification. Furthermore, with the merger of ex-FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the reduction of its NA seats from 12 to 6, the National Assembly's constituencies were reduced to 266 from 272, necessitating delimitation prior to the conduct of elections.


The process on delimitation could not begin because the national census of 2017 was provisional due to the fact that it could not be notified. The census was announced on May 6 after the ECP's efforts, and the Council of Common Interests published the 6th national census report.Following the release of the census results and the ECP's timeline for the delimitation process last year, the government opted to conduct a digital national census. As a result, work on delimitation was put on hold.


Following that, on September 30, 2021, and January 21, this year, the ECP wrote to the government requesting that the digital national census be completed by the end of 2022, so that constituency delimitation could begin and be completed on time, as the digital census was scheduled to be completed by March 2023. However, the commission received no answer from the ministry in question, further delaying the delimitation process.


According to the ECP letter, delimitation of seats is one of the foundational steps toward elections, and it is mandated by Article 1 of the Constitution.

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