ISLAMABAD: Former Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary Kanwar Dilshad has said that the next elections are possible only at least after nine months, not before May 2024.

Talking to The News here on Tuesday, he explained that the delimitation of constituencies on the basis of census 2023 will take four months, which will follow the revision of electoral rolls on the basis of new headcount.

Dilshad said that the process of revision of electoral rolls, inviting objections and printing the final voters list will take three months. After that, two months, a minimum of 54 days, are required for the election schedule. According to the former ECP secretary, four months for delimitation, three months for finalising voters list, and two months for election schedule will make the next election possible not before May 2024.

He said that he is telling all this on the basis of his experience, and those ignoring the factor of revision of electoral rolls should go through the Election Act 2017.

Dilshad said that delimitation of the constituencies will be followed by preparation of fresh electoral rolls. “It’s mandatory,” he said, adding, it can’t be ignored.

The ECP recently stated that since the official results of the seventh Population and Housing Digital Census 2023 had been published, the electoral body was legally obligated to carry out fresh delimitation of constituencies after the publication of official results of the census.

The ECP said delimitation of the constituencies will be held across the country from September 8 to October 7. It said the proposals regarding constituencies will be submitted from October 10 to November 8. The quota of constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies will be allocated from September 5 to September 7, the electoral body said.

According to the schedule, the preliminary constituency delimitation boundaries will be published by October 9, and the ECP will accept representations against them until November 11. These representations will be addressed and disposed of by December 8, 2023, whereas, the final delimitations will be published by December 14, 2023.

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