ECP calls meeting of Punjab, KP officials on Feb 7 to discuss elections

No decision has been taken regarding the election date in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, clarifies Election Commission

Our Correspondent
Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja while attending a meeting. — ECP/File
Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja while attending a meeting. — ECP/File

  • ECP holds meeting to review arrangements for upcoming polls.
  • Secretary briefs participants on preparations for elections.
  • ECP says reports quoting Law Wing are baseless. 

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday extended an invite to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chief secretaries and inspector generals of Police (IGP) to a meeting — which would be taking place in Islamabad on February 7 — to consult, general polls in two provincial assemblies, The News reported on Saturday.

Chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja at its secretariat, the meeting was attended by the ECP members and the commission's secretary, among others.

The meeting was held after the governors urged the ECP, in response to the CEC's letters seeking dates for elections, to consult stakeholders, keeping in view the security, law and order and economic situation in the country. 

The ECP secretary briefed the meeting on the preparations for upcoming elections in Punjab and KP including by-polls on the vacant National Assembly seats.

After the approval of the Election Commission, a request has also been made to the registrars of high courts of the two provinces to provide the services of judicial officers to ensure free and fair elections, the official explained to the meeting. 

It was decided that at the February 7 meeting, chief secretaries and IGPs of Punjab and KP will brief the commission on the safe and peaceful conduct of upcoming general elections to the provincial assemblies and by-elections of the National Assembly.

The ECP also decided that a consultative meeting would take place with political parties on February 9 and that feedback would be taken from the parties regarding the draft of the code of conduct.

Moreover, the talks will be held on the orderly conduct of polls and other constitutional and legal issues. 

After the meeting, the ECP issued a clarification refuting the rumours regarding the election dates. 

"ECP, in the recent meeting, did not announce any election dates for provincial assemblies, nor it decided to again write letters to the governors in this regard."

Earlier on January 25, the commission had suggested to the governors the dates of April 9-13 for the elections of the Punjab Assembly and April 15-17 for the KP Assembly and asked to select a date within the given timeline. However, they had urged the ECP to take this decision after consultations with the related stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the ECP has announced the schedule for by-elections to 31 more National Assembly seats, fixing March 19 (Sunday) for polling. 

According to the schedule, nomination papers can be submitted from February 10 to 14; nomination papers can be withdrawn until March 1; and election symbols will be allotted to candidates on March 2. 

Likewise, scrutiny of nomination papers will be carried out until February 18; appeals on nomination papers will be submitted by February 22, and election tribunals will decide on appeals by February 27.

By-elections will be held in NA-2, Swat-I, NA-3, Swat-II, NA-5 Upper Dir-I, NA-6, Lower Dir-I, NA-8, Malakand, N-9, Buner, NA-16, Abbotabad-II, NA-19, Swabi-II, NA-20, Mardan-I, NA-28, Peshawar-II, NA-30, Peshawar-IV, NA-34, Karak, NA-40, Bajur-I, NA-42, Mohmand, NA-44, Khyber-II, NA-61, Rawalpindi-V, NA-70, Gujrat-III, NA-87, Hafizabad-I, NA-93, Khushab-I, NA-96, Mianwali-II, NA-107, Faisalabad-VII, NA-109, Faisalabad-IX, NA-135, Lahore-XIII, NA-150, Khanewal-I, NA-152, Khanewal-III, NA-158, Multan-V, NA-164, Vehari-III, NA-165, Vehari-IV, NA-177, Rahimyar Khan-III and NA-187, Layyah-I. 

It may be recalled that these seats fell vacant after the resignations of PTI members of the National Assembly were approved and they were de-notified. 

The election commission has already issued the schedule for by-elections to 33 vacant seats in the National Assembly, according to which the by-elections will be held on March 16.