Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) raised hopes for the next general elections in February next year, saying that it would work on delimiting constituencies and update the electoral rolls side by side to ensure that the preparatory work is done in the minimum time possible, Dawn reported.
The assurance was held out to a PML-N delegation, which had a consultative meeting with the ECP on the roadmap to the polls on Friday.
Even if the polls are conducted in February, there would still be a violation of the Constitution as elections have to be conducted within 90 days after the dissolution of assemblies, according to the report.
Moreover, it allays fears that the elections could be delayed for several months after the completion of delimitation on the pretext of synchronisation of electoral rolls with new census blocks, according to Dawn.
If the decision is implemented, it will ensure that the Electoral College is in place for the Senate before the term of half of its members expires in March. According to the ECP spokesperson, the commission had begun the task of conducting the delimitation and updating electoral polls simultaneously with the aim to complete both processes concurrently.
However, he denied speculations that the ECP would commence the process to update electoral rolls only after the delimitation process concluded in December, the report added. The PML-N urged the ECP to complete the process of delimitation and updation of electoral rolls before December 14, according to Dawn.
Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja assured the PML-N team that the two tasks would be completed simultaneously and the polls would be conducted as soon as possible. Following the meeting, PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Azam Nazeer Tarar and Zahid Hamid said the general elections would be held in February.
“Count 54 days after December 14 and you can guess the election date,” a PML-N leader said, according to Dawn. The CEC assured the PML-N members that the elections would be transparent and fair and all parties would get equal opportunities. He added that strict legal actions would be taken against those violating the code of conduct.
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