Pakistan to hold general elections in January 2024

The general elections to elect a new government in Pakistan will be held in January next year, the country’s top electoral body announced on Thursday.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in a statement, said that the much-awaited polls will be held in the last week of January. It, however, did not give a specific date.

Some 127 million voters are eligible to cast their votes to elect a new government for a five-year term.

Currently, a caretaker government led by acting Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar is ruling the South Asian nuclear country following the dissolution of the lower house, known as the National Assembly, on Aug. 9.

President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, clearing the way for a national vote within 90 days, as required by the Constitution.

However, the Council of Common Interests, a constitutional body made up of the prime minister and the chief ministers of all provinces, last month approved the controversial results of a new nationwide census, making it almost certain that elections will not be held on time.

Because of the hurried approval, the ECP would need at least four more months to notify new constituencies in the country in accordance with the latest census.

Moreover, the outgoing government, through an amendment in the election rules in June, empowered the ECP to independently announce the poll date.

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