ISLAMABAD: In what marks the commencement of a formal process for formation of new governments at the Centre and in the provinces, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is all set to notify final results of the general election on Tuesday (today).
The notification will meet a legal deadline for declaration of results set under Section 98 of the Elections Act.
“On receipt of the final consolidated result from the returning officer, the commission shall, within 14 days from the date of the polls, publish in the official gazette the name of the contesting candidate who has received the highest number of votes and stands elected,” Section 98 (1) reads.
Under Section 98 (2), the ECP is also to publish in the official gazette the name of each contesting candidate and the total number of votes received by him as in the final consolidated result.
Independent members-elect to have three more days to join any party
The ECP under the law will be required to place the documents on its official website within two days from the date of publication of the name of returned candidate in the official gazette.
A senior ECP official told Dawn that the independent members-elect of the national and provincial assemblies would have three more days to join a political party.
According to him, if a member is elected to the National Assembly as an independent, Article 51(e) provides that the member can join a party within three days after his name is published in the official gazette as a winner.
A similar provision is given in Article 106 of the Constitution for provincial assembly members.
Immediately after the announcement of official results of the national and provincial assemblies, the ECP issues a notification giving those elected as independents an option to join a political party. If they don’t join a party within the specified timeframe, such members are treated as independents.
The official said on the basis of the number of independents joining political parties, the ECP would calculate each party’s share in the seats reserved for women and religious minorities and would notify the names of members to be declared successful for reserved seats on Aug 11.
Later, he said, the president would summon the National Assembly session to meet within next two days — most probably on Aug 13. He said members-elect would take oath of their office during the maiden session followed by election to the offices of speaker and deputy speaker. He said election for the coveted office of prime minister would most likely take place on Aug 15.
Answering a question, the official said the schedule for presidential elections would be announced by the ECP shortly after the first sessions of the national and provincial assemblies.
The constitutional five-year term of President Mamnoon Hussain will end on Sept 9. Under the Constitution, the election to the office of the president should take place not earlier than two months before and not later than one month before expiration of his term, but a schedule could not be announced in the absence of the president’s electoral college comprising the national and provincial assemblies besides the Senate.
The official said the delay in the announcement of the schedule owing to legal and procedural hitches would not make any difference, as the process of polls would be completed much before expiry of the president’s term.
Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2018