Timely polls possible only if law amended by Nov 10, says ECP

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has made it clear that timely holding of the next general elections will be possible only if the law to provide for fresh delimitation on the basis of provisional census results is enacted by Nov 10.

Speaking at a media workshop on Tuesday on arrangements for the elections, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad said that the “constituencies for the upcoming polls are not clear”. Under the constitutional provisions, the elections could only be held on the basis of 2017 census, he added.

Under the existing law fresh delimitation is possible only after final notification of the last census results which, according to the Statistics Division, is to be issued sometime in April 2018, whereas the elections are to take place in the end of July or early August.

Meanwhile, amid doubts about holding of electoral exercise on time, PTI Chairman Imran Khan warned against any delay in holding of polls. “Given the complete paralysis in governance, the PTI will oppose any legislation aimed at delaying general elections,” Mr Khan tweeted.

The ECP secretary stressed that timely elections were possible only if the amendment to the Election Act was passed by both houses of parliament. He said that delimitation would be possible with a dint of hard work only if the amendment process was completed by Nov 10. Agencies