Pakistan’s ECP Informs Supreme Court about Final Poll Date Today

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will inform the Supreme Court of the final date for the general elections, which has been confirmed as February 8. This follows a visit by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja to the Presidency on the orders of the apex court. During the hearing, the ECP had initially proposed February 11 as the date for polls but was asked to consult with the president. The ECP will formally inform the Supreme Court about this development during the hearing of separate petitions today. The three-member bench consisting of Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Athar Minallah, and Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan is hearing the case. The Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan informed the bench that the minutes of the meeting between President Alvi and the ECP will be submitted shortly. However, the Chief Justice objected to the absence of the president’s signature on the documents presented, and adjourned the hearing for another hour. The ECP had previously ruled out elections due to the need for fresh delimitation of constituencies. However, Article 224 of the Constitution mandates that elections be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly by November 7. Section 17(2) of the Elections Act also states that constituencies must be delimitated after every census is officially published. Last month, the commission announced that elections would be held in January 2024, prompting petitions to be filed in the Supreme Court seeking timely polls.

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