ANI Photo | Pakistan: Election Commission defends move to delay polls beyond 90-day limit

The Election Commission of Pakistan defended its move of delaying polls beyond a 90-day limit and said that the true representation of voters, contesting candidates or political parties in the parliament and provincial assemblies will be impossible without fresh delimitation of constituencies and revised electoral rolls, Geo News reported on Saturday. 
In the three-page document, the commission outlines the recent series of meetings on digital census and general election and said that the accurate representation of voters, candidates and political groups is the fundamental principle of constitutional democracy as envisaged by the Constitution.
This order came in the wake of criticism by the political parties, legal and political experts as well as civil society regarding adherence to the 90-day limit for conducting polls after dissolution of all assemblies in the country.
The ECP, in its order, mentioned that it is the duty of the commission to prepare electoral rolls for election to the National Assembly, provincial assemblies and local governments as well as to revise such rolls periodically to keep them updated, as per clause (a) of Article 219 of the Constitution, according to Geo News.
“And whereas; after the publication of the 7th Population Census approximately 20,8051- census blocks have increased, some have been merged while others have split, for which revision/ updation of the electoral rolls is necessary to adjust the registered voters in accordance with census charges, circles and blocks according to census 2023,” it explained.
The ECP emphasised that the provision of true representation to the electorate is one of the constitutional duties of the Commission in terms of Article 218(3) and the bedrock of parliamentary democracy, reported Geo News.
Earlier, the ECP on Thursday announced that it will carry out fresh delimitation of constituencies, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.
In July, the Council of Common Interests (CCI) gave approval to the results of the 2023 digital census, making it compulsory for Pakistan’s electoral watchdog to carry out fresh delimitation. As per the news report, fresh delimitation will take four months.
The development comes after the dissolution of the National Assembly and the farewell of the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government on August 9, according to the Dawn report.

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