‘If the National Assembly completes its term, elections will be held before October 11’

Zafar Iqbal, Special Secretary, ECP.  -reporter
Zafar Iqbal, Special Secretary, ECP. -reporter
  • Official says ECP has approached Judiciary for RO, DRO.
  • Says the elections will be conducted under the new election laws.
  • He said that the electoral authority is in touch with all the institutions.

Zafar Iqbal, Special Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan, has said that if the National Assembly is dissolved as per the run-up of its term, the ECP will hold elections before October 11.

“If the assembly is dissolved after the completion of its term on August 12, we will hold elections before October 11,” Iqbal said during a media briefing with Secretary Umar Hamid Khan on Thursday.

He said that the elections will be held on the basis of the delimitation done after the 2017 census.

The Special Secretary also said that the ECP will get security officers for the elections and is in touch with all the institutions. He said that the ECP has also procured watermarked paper.

“The elections will be held as per the new electoral reforms,” ​​Iqbal said.

On the other hand, Hamid Khan said that he has approached the judiciary for the posting of officers as District Returning Officers (DROs) and Returning Officers (ROs). He said that he has sent letters to the Registrars of Islamabad, Peshawar and Sindh High Courts for RO. While he sent a reminder letter to the Peshawar and Punjab High Courts as he had requested earlier.

Last month, Parliament amended the Electoral Act 2017, bringing changes to the electoral process.

The bill was approved by Sadiq Sanjrani, who was the interim president at the time.

Senate Chairman Sanjrani assumed the role of Acting President when President Arif Alvi left for Saudi Arabia to perform Haj and signed the summary forwarded by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Under the amendments, the disqualification of an MP has been limited to a maximum of five years, paving the way for those to run for public office for life.

“Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provisions of this Act, any other law for the time being in force and any judgment, order or decree of any court, including the Supreme Court and the High Court, the disqualification of a person to be elected, elected or continue as a member of the Majlis-i-Shura (Parliament) under paragraph (1) of clause (1) of article 62 of the Constitution shall not be for a period exceeding five years from the date of declaration by the court. The law in that respect and such The declaration shall be subject to due process of law,” the bill reads.

The amendment also allowed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the date of the election unilaterally, without the approval of the President.

Amending Section 58 of the Electoral Act, the Bill states, “…the Commission shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, announce the date or dates of the general elections, as the case may be.”

The law allows the Election Commission to make changes to the election schedule after the announcement of the date, but it must do so “in writing”.

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