The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has clarified that the forthcoming general elections are scheduled for the last week of January 2024. This decision comes after reviewing the progress of the new delimitations based on the recent census. A preliminary list of these delimitations will be made public on September 27, with the final list of constituencies will be released on November 30, considering any objections or suggestions related to the delimitation process.
This announcement by the ECP has put to rest the growing uncertainties about the election timeline. Due to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government’s decision to approve a new census, the ECP must update the delimitation before the elections. This led to concerns about potential election delays.
Despite the dissolution of the national and provincial assemblies earlier in August, the ECP emphasized that they were constitutionally mandated to adjust boundaries before hosting the elections. This made the 90-day election window, which would have set the elections for November 6, unfeasible.
Major political factions, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), have pressed the ECP to expedite the election process to stabilize the country’s political landscape.
US Ambassador Donald Blome underscored the importance of a fair electoral process in a meeting with CEC Raja last month, emphasizing that selecting Pakistan’s leadership is a decision for its citizens.
This update follows President Arif Alvi’s letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, suggesting a final election date. The president cited Article 48(5) of the Constitution, highlighting his authority to set a date within 90 days of the dissolution of assemblies. However, the ECP reiterated that recent changes in election laws now restrict the president from setting the election date.