The following mention appeared in Ajj News on August 8, 2023, at the following link
With the end of the federal government’s tenure approaching, speculations over when elections will be held in the country is shaping up to be one the biggest topics on the political stage.
A key item that the whole debae could hinge on is the census and its resulting delimitations. A new census is currently in progress and the consitution necessitates polls as per the latest one.
We asked four people to weigh in.
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Nayyar Bokhari said that the consitution mandated elections within 90 days and his party was of the opinion that the consitutional limit should be adhered to.
He said that the delimitations for the upcoming general election should be carried out as per the last complete census. However, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement had some reservations about the old census so the matter would have to be referred to the Council of Common Interests.
MQM’s Farooq Sattar said that the elections must be held within 90 days if the assembly was dissolved before completing its tenure.
However, he added that the next general election should be held as per the latest census and fresh delimitations should be carried out.
He said that the people of Karachi have demnded that they should be counted properly. If new delimitations are carried out, it could take up to four months and the solution to such a problem is only possible through a dialogue between political parties.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Abid Zuberi said that Bokhari’s point was beyond comprehension as he said that the PPP wanted elections based on fresh delimitations and that would need a consitutional amendment.
He added that the Supreme Court had already ordered elections in Punjab in 90 days but that judgement was not followed. He said that not allowing elections in Punjab during the stipulated time was a violation of the constitution.
He added that he would go to the court if general elections were delayed.
Ahmed Bilal Mehboob
Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development Ahmed Bilal Mehboob said that delimitations need a constitutional amendment for which a two-thirds majority is required in the parliament. However, the house does not even have two-thirds of its strength right now.
He said that a constitutional crisis could arise if the the new delimitations were not carried out and the crisis could end up delaying elections.
Mehboob said that the controversy was initially limited to elections in two provinces but now could spread into the entire country. The matter would ultimately have to be decided in court, Mehboob said.