ISLAMABAD: The recently amended Section 57 of the Elections Act to empower the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to fix a date for general polls defines the timeline of procedures from the announcement of the election schedule till the polling day, which is about 54 days.
Under Section 57(2) of the Elections Act, the Election Commission is to announce the election schedule within seven days of the announcement of the election date. The law gives six days for filing of nomination papers after the announcement of the schedule, and the list of nominated candidates is to be published the following day.
It gives eight days for scrutiny of nomination papers, four days for filing appeals against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers, and seven days for deciding the appeals. The revised list of candidates will be published the day after the decisions on appeals.
The next day is for the withdrawal of candidature and the following day, electoral symbols will be allotted to the contesting nominees and a final list is published.
The poll date has to be set not earlier than 28 days following the publication of the final list of candidates.
“The date or dates on which a poll shall, if necessary, be taken, which or the first of which shall be a date not earlier than the twenty-eighth day after the publication of the revised list of candidates,” the elections act reads.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2023