ECP gears up for by-elections in over 60 NA seats in March

Foreign funding case: PTI lawyer objects to incompleteness of commission

ISLAMABAD: As the schedule for the 27 remaining NA seats will be announced next week, all pending elections for National Assembly seats will be held in March.

The poll will take place on these seats in the last week of March. With this, all seats vacated by PTI members through resignations would be filled through by-polls.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced its schedule for holding polls on 33 seats first and also shared its plan for 31 more seats. No election will be possible from April till the completion of the tenure of NA in the third week of August this year.

sources in the ECP told The News electoral body had stepped up its efforts for preparations for the general elections in October/November this year. The sources said that the ECP has got nothing to do with the polling date for the provincial assemblies when they are dissolved by the sitting government. The commission could suggest some dates in this regard but that is not binding on the provincial governors, who are the sole arbitrators for determining the date.

The commission will be ready for holding elections of dissolved provincial assemblies, but certain technical and constitutional requirements are to be taken into consideration before taking a decision, the sources said.

The ECP, in its full-house meeting, decided to hold a series of consultations and deliberations on the upcoming polls and subsequent general elections. The commission has convened a high-level meeting on Tuesday (Feb 7) to be attended by chief secretaries and Police IGs of Punjab and KPK. They will brief the commission on elections of provincial assemblies, National Assembly by-elections, law and order situation and other issues in their respective jurisdictions on the occasion.

Another ECP meeting would be held on the issue on February 9 (Thursday). All stakeholders and political parties, including PTI and PML-Q, have been invited to the meeting, sources said.

It will discuss all aspects of peaceful elections of provincial assemblies, code of ethics and other constitutional and legal issues and get their feedback for ensuring transparent elections, the sources said.