ISLAMABAD: Brushing aside President Arif Alvi’s ‘doubts’ regarding the timing of the electoral exercise, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday said that the upcoming general elections will not go beyond the last week of January.
The statement comes a day after President Alvi told journalist Hamid Mir in an interview that he did not see polls taking place in January.
Contesting the president’s stance, the commission said polls would be held as per its earlier announcement, and that the poll schedule will be issued after the publication of the final delimitation report.
“The comments made by the president about the conduct of elections during the interview on a private channel on Wednesday gave the impression that the elections may be postponed. The Election Commission strongly denies this to dispel the impression that there is any possibility of postponement of the election,” the ECP said. It said the commission has already clarified its position in this regard as the first phase of delimitation has been completed and the second phase of filing objections will be completed on Oct 27.
At the same time, the ECP will start hearing objections to the initial delimitation from Oct 30/31 and on Nov 30, it will publish the final list of constituencies.
According to the action plan for the conduct of the election, the commission emphasised, all its preparations are complete and the schedule of the elections will be announced after the final publication of the delimitations. There is no ambiguity in it, the statement said.
An official of the ECP told Dawn that January 28 remains the most probable date for elections.
Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2023