Senate elections only after February 10: ECP
The Election Commission of Pakistan in a bid to clarify the uncertainty surrounding the Senate elections Monday cleared that the elections will be held only after February 10.
In a press release, the ECP said the different kind of rumours and statements from different quarters regarding the senate elections and the responsibility of the ECP has created confusion and to ECP will only follow the constitution in this regard.
The ECP said half of the senators would retire from the Senate on March 11, 2021 after completing their six-year term.
The ECP said according to sub article 3 of the Article 224 of the Constitution, the elections against the Senate seats that would lay vacant after the completion of tenure cannot be held 30 days before the retiring date.
“It means the election against the vacant seats cannot be held before February 10, 2021.”
The ECP said last four or five Senate elections have been held in the first week of March.
The ECP said it would release the election schedule for the Senate on an appropriate time as per the Constitution of Pakistan.
The ECP said the Commission is well aware of its responsibility and under the constitution, it is the constitutional and legal responsibility of the ECP to conduct the elections it is determined to carry out its responsibilities in the light of the Constitution of Pakistan.
It may be mentioned that the PTI-led government has shown its desire to hold the Senate elections one month earlier in February instead of March.
The opposition parties alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement has criticised and opposed the decision saying it was the ECP’s responsibility to decide on the matter of holding the elections and the government cannot hold elections in February as per the constitution.
However, it is evident from the ECP’s release that there is no legal or constitutional bar on holding the Senate elections in mid or late February, as planned by the government and it the election process may bring forward to February instead of March.