Pakistan’s Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sikander Sultan Raja, and President Dr. Arif Alvi reached a pivotal agreement following a directive from the Supreme Court. After a meeting held at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President’s official residence, the two entities unanimously agreed to conduct Pakistan’s general elections on February 8, 2024. The move came after an intense day of deliberation that began with the Supreme Court’s orders.
The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, intervened in the matter after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced its intention to hold elections on February 11, 2024.
The top court directed the ECP to consult with President Alvi to determine the final date for the general elections. In response to this, a delegation of ECP officials, headed by CEC Sikander Sultan Raja, met with the President at his residence, where the date for the elections was officially decided.
While political parties had differing opinions on the election date, the Supreme Court’s decision focused on the constitutional requirement of holding timely elections. Article 224 of the Constitution stipulates that elections should take place within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly, setting the deadline for November 7. Clearly, the constitution has already been violated.
The decision to conduct elections on February 8 is not a step to adhere to the constitutional mandate but a step in providing a ‘level playing field’ for all political parties. Pertinent to mention that absconder and former three-time Prime Minister of the country Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan on October 21. At the same time, PTI Chairman and former PM Imran Khan remains in custody.