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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday announced that the presidential election will be held on Sept 4 — five days before the expiry of the five-year term of President Mamnoon Hussain.

Under Article 41 (4) of the Constitution, election to the office of the president is to be held not earlier than 30 days before expiry of the term of the president in office.

“Provided that, if the election cannot be held within the period aforesaid because the National Assembly is dissolved, it shall be held within thirty days of the general election to the Assembly,” a proviso added to the Constitution reads.

An ECP official told Dawn that the presidential election could not be held on time as the assemblies were dissolved and even after the general polls it was not possible to announce a schedule for polls before members of all the assemblies take the oath, as both houses of parliament and the provincial assemblies form the electoral college for presidential election and members from amongst them are to become proposer and seconder.

He justified the belated announcement of the schedule saying the ECP has relied on Article 254 of the Constitution which reads: “When any act or thing is required to be done within a particular period and it is not done within that period, the doing of the thing shall not be invalid or otherwise ineffective by reason only that it was not done within that period.”

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2018