Pakistan election body prepares for upcoming elections

The Election Commission of Pakistan is set to summon three ministers today to a hearing in regards to preparation delays

Asim HafeezBloomberg News

Photo: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg News

The Election Commission of Pakistan is set to summon three ministers today to a hearing in regards to preparation delays for upcoming local government elections.

The interior secretary, chief commissioner and advocate general of Islamabad have all been asked to explain delays in the provision of population data and constituency delimitation necessary to begin the local electoral process. The five-year term of the previous local government of Islamabad expired in February and has not been renewed. Yet, elections are required to be held no more than 120 days after a government’s expiration.

Expect the ministers’ testimonials to emphasize the need to revamp the previous system. Because the outgoing local government has largely been perceived as a failure, the federal government has sought electoral reforms, namely doubling the number of constituencies from 50 to 100.

As the elections have been delayed for nearly six months, they are likely to be further prolonged until agreement has been reached on the delimitation of the new constituencies. Although the interior ministry has yet to release a timeline on when these will be formed for Islamabad, the Electoral Commission has dropped a case against delayed local elections in Sindh, which have been set for after the next census.

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