The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has confirmed that there will be no delay in the upcoming elections and that a schedule will be released once the delimitation of constituencies is finalized.
A spokesperson for the ECP stated, “The election schedule will be announced after the publication of the delimitation of constituencies. There is no possibility of a delay in the elections.” The ECP has assured that all necessary preparations for the elections have already been completed.
The spokesperson explained that the first phase of the delimitation process has been successfully completed, and the second phase will conclude after addressing objections to the preliminary delimitations, which are scheduled to be heard from October 30-31.
The ECP’s statement comes in response to President Dr. Arif Alvi’s recent comment that he does not believe the general elections will take place in January, although he emphasized the importance of ensuring transparent polls when they do occur.
Some political analysts have expressed concerns about a potential delay in the elections beyond January, noting that political parties do not appear to be fully prepared for the election, and there have been mentions of challenging winter weather conditions that could affect the polling process.
The political situation in Pakistan has been marked by uncertainty since the removal of the Imran Khan government via a no-confidence motion in April 2022. The subsequent coalition government dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, triggering the requirement for the ECP to hold elections within 90 days, meaning they should take place no later than November 6.
However, the ECP explained that constitutional obligations required them to redraw boundaries due to the approval of the census by the Council of Common Interest (CCI). This made it impossible to hold elections within the initially specified time frame.
Several major political parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), urged the ECP to conduct the elections as soon as possible to address the prevailing uncertainty in the country. In September, the ECP announced that the general elections would be held in the last week of January, and they also released a provisional report on the delimitation of constituencies based on the recent census, bringing the country closer to the long-awaited general elections.