The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected on Thursday President Arif Alvi’s statement doubting the electoral watchdog’s intention to hold the next general elections in January.
The president, in an interview to a private TV channel a day earlier, said that he does not see general elections taking place in January 2024.
“I do not believe that elections will be held in January,” President Alvi said.
During the interview, the president said that when he wrote a letter to the ECP, proposing to resolve the election date issue, they replied that it was “not necessary”.
Alvi said that even if he had not gone on Hajj, he would not have signed the amendment made in the Elections Act 2017 because “it is against the Constitution”. “(Rule) 57/1 was changed in the act but I did not sign it.”
The Election Act amendments were signed upon by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani as the latter was serving as acting president since Alvi had left for Hajj.
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The rule – Notification of Election Programme – states, “The President shall announce the date or dates of the general elections after consultation with the Commission.”
The ECP in its statement said that the ECP strongly rejects president’s remarks suggesting that there will be a delay in the 2024 elections.
“The commission has already clarified its position regarding the matter,” the electoral watchdog maintained.
It further stated that the process of delimitation had already been completed, and the process was in its second stage of scrutiny – of addressing objections – which will be completed tomorrow, October 27, 2023.
The ECP said it will be issuing the final list of constituencies by November 30, 2023, adding that the final schedule of elections 2024 will be issued following that. “There is nothing uncertain about this,” the electoral watchdog maintained.