ISLAMABAD: After Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) website mentioned July 31 as the date of 2018 general elections, the commission later clarified that the date is yet to be announced.
The ECP website had initially mentioned July 31 in the schedule of 2018 elections, but retracted quickly after reports circulated on media.
Clarifying the matter, ECP spokesperson Altaf Hussain told media, “The date and schedule of elections is not something to be hidden.”
“[Only an] empty link was put on the ECP website,” he said, adding that a date for elections would be announced after mutual consultation. He further told media that the commission would welcome all national and international observers.
Although the ECP has not yet made any formal announcement pertaining to the date for countrywide polls, previous reports had suggested that the commission had recommended holding 2018 elections by the end of July.
According to media reports, ECP officials had earlier pondered over the dates of July 25 or 26 (Wednesday or Thursday) to conduct the polls.
The ECP had already started working on the summary for elections date, reports said earlier this month, which would be forwarded to the president.
Following an approval of the summary by the president, they said further, the ECP would issue a schedule for polls.
The incumbent government is expected to conclude its five-year term on May 31, after which the caretaker government will take over to oversee the general elections.
As per the Constitution of Pakistan, the caretaker prime minister is appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the opposition leader in the National Assembly.
Both the premier and the opposition leader are yet to announce the name of caretaker PM. They have to first present names of three nominees each from which the consensus candidate is appointed as the caretaker prime minister.
The prime responsibility of the caretaker government is to ensure that the elections are held in a transparent manner and the basic functions of the government continue without an elected setup in place.