The Pakistan Election Commission (ECP) revealed plans to convene a meeting with political factions in October to discuss the forthcoming general elections’ code of conduct, expected to be held in January, delaying past the legal deadline of November 7. This decision comes according to Section 233 of the 2017 Elections Act.
Scheduled for October 4th, the meeting aims to gather feedback from party leaders on the draft Code of Conduct, available on the ECP’s website. The meeting continues previous consultations regarding the electoral timeline amidst diverse opinions on the election schedule.
Elections this year have been dismissed by the ECP, pointing to the necessity for new delimitations after the recent 2023 digital census publication. Despite the constitution necessitating elections within 90 days post the National Assembly dissolution, recent amendments to the Elections Act permit the ECP to determine the polling date without presidential consultation unilaterally.
This legal alteration was emphasized by the Chief Election Commissioner in response to President Alvi’s initiative to set a suitable election date, a move seen as only suggestive and not an official announcement. The law ministry reaffirmed the ECP’s autonomy in this regard amidst circulating reports of a potential unilateral declaration by the president.