The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has stated on Friday that if the full results of the seventh census will not be sent to the body by March 31, 2023 it would be impossible to hold general elections as planned.
ECP Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal Hussain wrote in a letter to the Secretary of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, “It would be difficult for the ECP to undertake the exercise of fresh constituency delimitation as per Article 51(5) of the Constitution, complete other electoral activities mentioned above and conduct General Election-2023 in time as per Constitutional mandate in case official results are not provided on or before March 31, 2023.”
The Chief statistician notified the Chief Election Commissioner during a meeting on December 8 that the Council of Common Interests had, during its 49th session, authorized the deadlines for conducting the seventh Population and Housing Census digitally.
The letter also stated that according to the original plan the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) was required to give ECP the preliminary census findings by December 31, 2022.
According to the special secretary ECP, “at the meeting, PBS expressed the position that initially it hired NRTC for the provision of software, hardware and allied services but NRTC dropped out and showed an inability to offer the services as a result resulting into four months delay.”
It further stated that then NADRA was hired to provide the aforementioned services.
The commission was informed that in accordance with the updated schedule PBS will be able to give the ECP preliminary census findings by April 30, 2023.