ISLAMABAD – President Arif Alvi and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja on Thursday agreed on the date for the next general elections in the country i.e. February 8, 2024.
The announcement came after an ECP delegation led by CEC Raja and Attorney General of Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan called on President Alvi at the President’s Secretariat to discuss the final date for the upcoming general elections.
A statement from President Alvi’s office said, “It was [then] unanimously decided that the election will be held on Thursday, February 8.”
After a detailed discussion the meeting unanimously agreed to hold General Elections in the country on 8th February 2024.— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) November 2, 2023
The meeting between the two sides was held after the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to consult the president and inform the top court about the final date for the general elections on Friday (November 3, 2023).
During today's hearing of petitions calling for elections across Pakistan without any further delay, the ECP told the Supreme Court that elections would be held on February 11, 2024. However, the SC told the commission to consult the president.
After developing consensus on the election date, AGP Awan and CEC Raja will inform the top court about the decision.
The court — in the order issued after the hearing — had instructed the AGP to arrange the meeting between Raja and Alvi, provide the president with the court order, and be available to render assistance.
“We expect that the matter of appointing a date for holding general elections shall be settled, and this court will be informed tomorrow (Friday),” the SC said in the order.
The Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the three major political parties of the country, welcomed the announcement of date for the general elections.
Welcoming the announcement, PPP's Nayyer Bukhari said that his party had been calling for timely elections. “Unelected individual or cabinet do not have right to rule the country… the elections should have been held within 90 days as per the Constitution,” he said.
PML-N senior leader Ayaz Sadiq welcomed the announcement, saying that it’s a positive development and that the process to hold elections has commenced. However, he said that it was ECP's mandate to announce the date for the general elections.
PML-N leader Irfan Siddiqui said the ECP announcement was a positive development and it would bring stability in the country. “I welcome this development even more because the announcement came from Supreme Court which has increased its sanctity,” he said.
PTI lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar said that SC proceedings were "historic" and they ended the uncertainty about the elections.
"Someone said the polls will be staged while someone said polls will not be staged. It was a worrisome situation," the senator told the media after the SC hearing.
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against USD and other currencies in the open market on March 3, 2024 (Sunday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.3 for buying and 282.45 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 302.5 for buying and 305.5 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 354 for buying, and 359 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.3 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.5.
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