The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that the country’s general elections will be held on February 11, 2024.
General Elections Date Announced
During the hearing of petitions calling for timely polls across the country, the ECP’s lawyer shared the date with the Supreme Court.
“Elections in the country will be held in the country [after] completion of delimitation on November 30,” ECP’s lawyer Sajeel Swati told the three-member bench.
The bench is made up of Pakistan’s Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Athar Minallah, and Justice Amin-Ud-Din Khan.
The three-member bench was holding the second hearing on the petitions.
ECP Shared the Elections Schedule With Supreme Court of Pakistan
While sharing the schedule with the Supreme Court, the ECP’s lawyer stated that all arrangements, including delimitation, will be completed by January 29.
The lawyer explained the delimitation process, saying it would take 3 to 5 days to issue the final lists.
He went on to say that if we count 54 days back from December 5, we get the date January 29.
According to the lawyer, the ECP is hoping to hold the elections on Sunday to make it easier for people to vote.
February 11 2024, Is The Date
He went on to say that under this plan, the first Sunday would have been on February 4 and the second on February 11.
“We decided on our own that elections should be held on Sunday, February 11,” said the lawyer.
When CJP Isa heard this, he directed the lawyer to ask the chief election commissioner to consult with the president and report back to the court.
The Supreme Court then adjourned the case until 2 p.m. today.
Uncertainty About Polls
Since the Imran Khan government was deposed in April 2022 by a no-confidence vote, the country has been gripped by political uncertainty.
The Shehbaz Sharif-led government, which succeeded Khan, dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, and the assemblies in Sindh and Balochistan were also dissolved prematurely to allow the electoral authority to hold elections in the country within 90 days.
If the assemblies had been dissolved on time, the electoral body was legally required to hold general elections within 60 days.
However, the ECP decided against holding general elections within the time frame because the Council of Common Interest (CCI) approved the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023 just days before the assemblies were to be dissolved.
The CCI approval required the commission to hold general elections following new delimitations based on the census results.
Following that, on August 17, the ECP announced the schedule of new delimitations to be carried out in accordance with the new census results.
However, the commission announced in September that general elections would be held in the country in the last week of January 2024.
To read our blog on “ECP reject president Dr. Alvi’s statement on elections delay,” click here.