Pakistan to hold general elections by October: Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan‘s election commission is preparing to hold general elections by October, one year ahead of schedule, according to a media report on Thursday.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has completed the work of delimitation of constituencies and eliminated any objections regarding them, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted sources as saying.
“Work has been completed in all constituencies for all national and provincial seats,” it quoted the source as saying.
The commission had earlier assured the country’s Supreme Court that it would complete the delimitation of constituencies by August 4.
The ECP will publish the list of voters and constituencies by the end of August, said the source.
The last general election was held in July 2018 and the term of Pakistan’s current National Assembly is till October 2023.
The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — which mostly comprises political parties in the ruling coalition, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — last week declared that the next general elections will be held at its scheduled time next year.
“The general elections will be held on time and the current government will complete its term,” said PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, however, emphasised that the only way to end the current political crisis in the country was to hold immediate clean, and transparent elections.
“There is only one way [to rid the country of political instability] … free and fair elections. When they were removing me, I had announced general elections, but the courts overturned my decision. I still believe it was the right call,” the ousted premier had said.
Pakistan Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed last week said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-founder Asif Ali Zardari has agreed to hold general elections in October.
The AML tweeted that the date for general elections has been decided rather than the by-elections.
Elections will be held in October under a new election commission, while an interim government will be set up soon, Pakistan Today reported.
Hinting at Asif Ali Zardari, Rasheed added that people in “quarantine” have also agreed to hold general elections, and only Fazlur Reham is yet to be engaged.
The cricketer-turned-politician had called for general elections, a proposal which was then overruled when a no-confidence motion against the former prime minister ousted him from power in April this year.

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