- On the orders of the Supreme Court, the CEC met the President for consultation on the election date.
- Sources claim that the meeting failed to reach a consensus on the matter.
- Sources say that AGP conveyed President Alvi’s message to CEC Raja today.
In compliance with the Supreme Court (SC) order, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday wrote a letter to President Arif Alvi, proposing the date of general elections as February 11, 2024.
In its letter, the election watchdog wrote: “We expect that the matter of fixing the date for holding the general elections will be resolved, and this court will be informed tomorrow, i.e. 3 November 2023.”
It further said that the Commission, after due deliberations, “proposed to fix February 11, 2024 as the date of polling for the general elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies”.
Earlier in the day, the ECP – during the hearing of petitions seeking timely holding of elections across the country – informed the apex court that general elections in the country will be held on February 11, 2024.
“There will be elections in the country.” [after] Delimitation will be completed on November 30,” ECP counsel Sajeel Swati told the three-member bench.
Last month, the election watchdog had announced that the general elections would be held in the last week of January 2024.
At the beginning of today’s hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faiz Isa directed the ECP’s counsel to ask the Chief Election Commissioner to consult the President today and come back to the court.
The CJP also told the ECP that once the date is announced, the Supreme Court will assume that it is set in stone. “We will not allow the election date to be changed,” the CJP said, adding that the apex court will ensure that elections are held and implement its decision.
“The court hopes that the Election Commission and the President will agree on a date and inform the court,” the order said.
Following the court order, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, along with a delegation, today met President Arif Alvi at Aiwan-e-Sadr to seek advice for announcing the election date in the country.
Confidential sources close to the matter claimed that the meeting regarding the election date remained inconclusive as the President and the CEC failed to reach a consensus on the matter.
Sources also said that Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan will meet the CEC and convey a message to the President.
Sources said the AGP will present the President’s stand on the matter before the CEC.