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President Seeks Meeting with CEC to Determine Election Date

In letter, Arif Alvi notes Constitution calls for elections to take place no later than 90 days after dissolution of National Assembly

by Staff Report

Courtesy PID

President Arif Alvi on Wednesday wrote to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, seeking a meeting to determine a date for general elections, which he asserted cannot be later than 90 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly.

Noting he had dissolved the National Assembly on Aug. 9 on the advice of the prime minister, he said Article 48(5) of the Constitution obliged the president to appoint a date for general elections no later than 90 days from the date of the dissolution. Article 48(5) states: “Where the president dissolves the National Assembly, notwithstanding anything contained in clause (1), he shall (a) appoint a date, not later than 90 days from the date of the dissolution, for the holding of a general election to the Assembly; and (b) appoint a caretaker cabinet in accordance with the provisions of Article 224 or, as the case may be, Article 224A.”

Alvi adds: “Foregoing in view, the chief election commissioner is invited for a meeting with the president today or tomorrow to fix an appropriate date.”

The date for the general elections, due in November, remains in flux following the Council of Common Interests’ approval of the result of the 7th Population and Housing Census, which mandates the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct fresh delimitations before conducting elections. Earlier this month, the ECP issued a schedule for delimitations, spanning Aug. 17-Dec. 14, indicating elections could not take place any sooner than mid-February.

Both the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Peoples Party have protested the apparent delay to elections, stressing that they should be conducted within the stipulated timeframe.

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