Can't connect right now! retry
Saturday May 26 2018

General elections to be held on July 25, president approves ECP summary

General Elections in Pakistan will be held on July 25, 2018. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday approved a summary sent by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for General Elections to be held on July 25. 

ECP had recommended holding the general elections on either July 25, 26 or 27 earlier this month. Sources had informed Geo News that a summary, asking to set a date under the Elections Act 2017, had been forwarded to President Hussain on May 21. 

⯈ National Assembly 

    272 general seats

⯈ Provincial assemblies 

    849 general seats

    - Punjab: 297 

    - Sindh: 130 

    - KP: 99

    - Balochistan: 51   

The ECP Spokesperson Altaf Hussain, however, denied receipt of the summary approved by the president. He said the media would be informed as soon as the summary was received by the electoral body. 

ECP sources further informed Geo News that the election schedule would be issued on June 1. 

The current government will conclude its five-year term on May 31, after which the caretaker government will take over to hold the general elections. Polls for provincial assemblies and the Lower House of the Parliament will be held on the same day.

In the wake of the upcoming general elections and with the government’s tenure ending on May 31, an interim system was earlier demanded by the opposition parties so free and fair elections can be held. 

As per the Constitution, the prime minister and opposition leader in the National Assembly mutually finalize the name of the caretaker PM after presenting suggestions.

So far, five meetings have been held between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and NA Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah but all of them have ended in a deadlock, with the matter now expected to be taken to a parliamentary committee.

National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Friday had said that a parliamentary committee is yet to be formed to decide on a candidate as the caretaker prime minister.

"The Parliamentary Committee to mull over the caretaker prime minister candidature will only be formed after the premier and the opposition leader lodge a request," observed Sadiq.

He noted that the committee — which will include four members each of the government and the opposition — can be formed up to three days after the tenure of assemblies ends. 

If the prime minister and NA opposition leader are unable to arrive at a consensus, the matter is then decided on by a parliamentary committee formed at the request of the two leaders representing the government and opposition. 

In case of the committee's failure to reach consensus on the matter, a candidate for the caretaker prime minister is then chosen by the ECP.