Elections in Punjab are Scheduled by the ECP

Election Commission of Pakistan announces schedule for elections in Punjab and by-elections in six national assembly seats

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced the schedule for the upcoming elections in Punjab and by-elections on six vacant seats in the National Assembly. The Supreme Court ruled last week that elections should be held within 90 days in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In consultation with the ECP, President Dr. Arif Alvi and the governor of KP would decide on dates for the assemblies. The ECP proposed dates for the elections between April 30 and May 7 in separate letters to the president and the governor of the KP. On April 30, Alvi declared that elections would take place in Punjab.

The public notice will be released by the returning officer (RO) on March 11 in accordance with the election schedule. The nomination papers must be submitted between March 12 and 14, and the names of the nominees will be made public on March 15.

March 22 will be the final day for RO to review the nomination papers. According to the notification, appeals against RO decisions must be filed by March 27. The Appellate Tribunal’s decision-making deadline is April 3.

The revised candidate list will be published on April 4, while April 5 is the deadline for withdrawals and publication of the revised candidate list. It is anticipated that candidates will receive their election symbols on April 6, and polling will take place on April 30.

The deadline for submitting a separate priority list for the reserved seats is March 14; the schedule also applies to seats reserved for women and minorities. PTI Secretary General Asad Umar expressed support for the schedule release but compared it to the imposition of Section 144 in Punjab and said it amounted to “a joke with democracy.”

Schedules for by-elections for six National Assembly seats were also released by the ECP: NA-22 (Mardan-III), NA-24 (Charsadda-II), NA-31 (Peshawar-V), NA-108 (Faisalabad-VIII), NA-118 (Nankana Sahib-11), and NA-239 (Karachi-I). Imran, a former prime minister, had his notification from the six seats he won in by-elections last year revoked by the ECP on February 24.

Separately, an ECP delegation met with KP Governor Ghulam Ali to discuss the timing of the provincial elections. The governor announced that he would meet with the commission in Islamabad the following week to discuss the election date in more detail.

The ECP made it clear that they were only meeting him on election day and that plans for the polls were being worked out with the interim provincial government and federal law enforcement organisations.

A big step towards ensuring free and fair elections in Punjab is the publication of the election schedule. Now, everyone is watching the political parties to see how they are getting ready for the upcoming elections.

Written by Imad Khan

Imad Khan has the skills and experience to deliver top-notch content that informs, engages, and inspires. He oftens explores nature in his free time.