A security personnel stands guard at the headquarters of Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad on September 21, 2023. — AFP


“Election to office of the President is required to be conducted by March 9, 2024,” says ECP

A security personnel stands guard at the headquarters of Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad on September 21, 2023. — AFP
  • ECP seeks the conduct of polls by March 9. 
  • Advices chief justices of high courts to appoint POs.
  • Cites Article 41 of the Constitution in its letter. 

ISLAMABAD: As the process of government formation paces up, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) wrote to the high courts, seeking the appointment of the chief justices as presiding officers for the conduct of presidential elections by March 9 before Ramadan, The News reported Monday.

The electoral body wrote a letter on February 23 with the subject “Election to the office of the president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 2024”.

As per the past tradition, ECP advised the chief justices of relevant high courts to be appointed as presiding officers for the purpose.

The notification issued by ECP to all high courts stated: “May I draw your kind attention toward, Article 41 of the Constitution, which provides the term, qualification and timelines for Election of the office of the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Attention is invited toward Article 41(4) of the Constitution which provides that:

“(4) Election to the office of President shall be held not earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of the President in office:

“Provided that, if the election cannot be held within the period aforesaid because the National Assembly is dissolved, it shall be held within thirty days of the general election to the Assembly.”

Further, it noted: “In light of the above Article the Election to office of the President is required to be conducted by March 9, 2024. It is pertinent to mention here the second schedule of the Constitution provides a procedure for the conduct of election of the office of the President. As per paragraph 1 of the second schedule of the Constitution, the Chief Election Commissioner acts as the Returning Officer for the conduct of election.”

“Moreover, as per paragraph 2 of the second schedule of the Constitution, the presiding officers have also to be appointed for the conduct of election in the Parliament and for the provincial assemblies. As per past tradition, the chief justices of relevant high courts are appointed as Presiding Officers for the purpose,” added the letter.

“Accordingly, to conduct the election of the Highest Constitutional office it has been desired by the Hon’ble Election Commission that the Hon’ble chief justices of high court may also be appointed as presiding officers. It is therefore, requested that the requisite concurrence of the Hon’ble chief justices of high courts may please be conveyed for issuance of Notification of appointment of presiding officers which is to be issued by February 26, 2024,” said the notification issued by ECP.


Originally published in The News

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