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Updated December 16th, 2023 at 18:30 IST

ECP finalises Pakistan election date after a brief tussle between country's Supreme Court and LHC

After a long delay, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released the final schedule for the much-awaited Pakistan general elections.

Pakistan
Pakistan is set to go on polls in February 2024 | Image:AP
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After a long delay, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released the final schedule for the much-awaited Pakistan general elections. On Friday night, the electoral watchdog declared that the country will go to polls on February 8, 2024. The declaration came after the Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended the Lahore High Court's stay order on the appointment of district ret­urning officers (DROs), returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs), which could have caused a major delay in the elections. 

As per the recent guidelines released by the electoral body, the polling process will commence on December 19, when RO will issue a public notice on the matter. Shortly after the verdict from the Supreme Court, the ECP resumed the training of the ROs and district returning officers (DROs). While the polling is scheduled to take place on February 8, the contested candidates will be election symbol by January 13. 

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What was the hiccup all about?

Earlier this week, the Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended the commission's notification for the appointment of the ROs and DROs from the executive branch. The verdict by the Lahore court was issued on a petition filed by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Geo News reported. Following the judgement, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja met with senior officials and after a detailed deliberation, the body filed a petition in the top court seeking detailed annulment of the LHC's order. 

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A visibly disturbed Election Commission condemned the judgement and reversed it immediately. “Accordingly in the given circumstances and considering the constitutional and legal stipulation, the judgement of the LHC is hereby suspended,” said an order dictated by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, as per the reports obtained by the Dawn. Amid the ongoing economic crisis and major political turmoil, it will be interesting to see how the struggling country will conduct the polls. 

 

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Published December 16th, 2023 at 18:30 IST

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