The Election Commission of Pakistan has finally made a statement regarding the Senate elections and the controversy surrounding the date for the elections.
ECP said various speculations had been been made in the media over the conduct of the Senate elections in the last few days.
In a brief statement issued Monday afternoon, the ECP said various statements were issued over the Senate election and certain opinions were expressed over the responsibilities of the ECP, which created ambiguity.
Till now, the commission had issued no statement, but now feels there is a need to provide legal and constitutional clarity over the matter, the statement read.
What is the Senate election controversy?
On December 15, the federal government decided to hold Senate elections in February rather than in March.
The PTI government’s bid to prepone Senate polls was because it wishes to upset the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) plan to delay elections by resigning from the federal and provincial assemblies.
The elections cannot be held more than a month before the outgoing senators’ term ends nor can they be delayed beyond the expiry of such term.
But the schedule for the polls is issued by the ECP every three years. Under the election law, the commission is the sole authority to organize the polls. The process is spread over different phases and takes about a month to conclude.
During the last election in 2018, the ECP issued schedule on February 2 and elections were held on March 3 across four provincial assemblies. A separate schedule was issued for the election of two senators by the National Assembly which spanned over 28 days.