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Nawaz Sharif confident that election will take place in February: Former minister

2023 Aug 16, 10:35, Islamabad [Pakistan]

Pakistan Muslim League (N) Supremo Nawaz Sharif is confident that the general election would be held in the month of February next year, according to party leader Rana Sanaullah, Dawn reported.

“He (Nawaz Sharif) is sure that elections will take place in February. Delimitation of constituencies has to be completed before then, and it will be completed by December,” Sanaullah said while responding to a question about Nawaz’s expected return to Pakistan during an appearance on Pakistan's private news channel on Tuesday.

The party leader further stated that it will be appropriate for Nawaz Sharif to return to the country in September or October.

Nawaz left the country in November 2019 for medical treatment in London following his conviction in a corruption case. The three-time prime minister has not returned since and faces multiple cases in Pakistan, as per Dawn's report.

Last week, his younger brother and then-prime minister Shhebaz Sharif also said that he would return to Pakistan in September, lead the PML-N’s election campaign and assume the role of the prime minister for a fourth time if the party would emerge victorious in the polls.

But recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Review of Judgments and Orders Act, 2023 was "unconstitutional", crashing all the hopes of Nawaz Sharif, who was seeking to challenge his lifetime disqualifications, Geo News reported.

This decision has created a cloud of uncertainty for Nawaz Sharif to come back to his land.

Recently, a Dawn report also cited a senior Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) official as saying that the commission was “now legally bound to go for fresh delimitation, which would take at least four months”.

“It’s a constitutional requirement and we will have to do it,” he had remarked. “The details will be worked out by the commission in a meeting, which would be held after they received the official notification.”

The report quoted another official as saying that the ECP will also be required to update electoral rolls and take other related steps, indicating that the entire exercise may be postponed until March or April of the next year.

Another Dawn report published today said a huge mismatch in the otherwise increased and decreased share of districts across the country would make the upcoming exercise to re-draw boundaries for provincial assemblies’ elections a complex one.

The report highlighted that a thorough analysis of population figures showed that unlike for NA seats, fresh delimitation for the provincial assembly seats can affect dozens of districts.

The delimitation issue was also brought up during a Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday where Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said the ECP should conduct the process of delimitations transparently, stressing that it was a “matter of public interest”. He directed the ECP to resolve all issues prior to the polls.

Subsequently, the ECP issued a notification stating that it would hold a meeting on Wednesday (today) to discuss the delimitation of NA and provincial assemblies’ constituencies and allied matters, reported Dawn. 


Pakistan Rana Sanaullah election PML-N Nawaz SHarif Election Commission of Pakistan Supreme Court
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