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Pakistan Poll Body Issues Election Schedule After Court Ruling

Pakistan Poll Body Issues Election Schedule After Court Ruling: Report

The general polls set to take place on February 8, 2024, according to Pakistan poll body.

Islamabad:

Hours after Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruling, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday night issued the election schedule for the general polls set to take place on February 8, 2024, Dawn reported.

The polling process will begin on December 19, when the returning officer (RO) will issue a public notice, while the ECP will also resume training for the ROs and district returning officers (DROs).

The election programme also applies to the reserved seats for women and non-Muslims in the national and four provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan.

Notably, the commission issued the election schedule late at night in line with the Supreme Court’s orders.

In a hiccup with the polling process, the Lahore High Court suspended the commission’s notification for the appointment of the ROs and DROs from the executive branch–in defiance of the SC’s orders, Dawn reported.

The Lahore HC’s verdict was issued on a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the same party that had called for timely polls in a plea filed in the Supreme Court.

Following detailed deliberations, the commission filed a petition in the top court seeking the annulment of the HC order. The Pakistan SC accepted the plea a few hours back, putting the process back on track.

Earlier, Pakistan President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly three days before the completion of its five-year term, upon the advice of then-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The former government prematurely dissolved the lower house to ensure that the polls were scheduled 90 days later, in line with the Pakistan Constitution.

However, that didn’t happen, as ECP stated that it couldn’t follow the 90-day deadline as it had to work on fresh delimitation of constituencies after the Council of Common Interests (CCI) approved the results of the 2023 digital census.

Following the ECP decision, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and several others filed a plea in the top court seeking timely polls. On the same plea, the SC ordered the ECP and the president to consult, which resulted in a consensus date of February 8, Dawn reported.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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