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HomePakistanSenate votes to delay February 8 general elections in Pakistan

Senate votes to delay February 8 general elections in Pakistan

  • Pakistan Senate seeks election delay
  • Concerns over security and weather
  • Political tensions and security challenges

The Senate of Pakistan has ratified a non-binding resolution petitioning a postponement of the February 8 national general elections.

The resolution, approved by the upper chamber of parliament on Friday, saw participation from only 14 out of 97 senators present, with one member voting against the resolution.

Independent legislator Dilawar Khan introduced the resolution, seeking to delay the election date due to “prevailing security conditions” and low temperatures in the country.

Khan highlighted threats from the interior ministry against the lives of prominent politicians and a rise in security incidents, especially in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Additionally, he mentioned severe winter conditions hindering political campaigns, potentially impacting voter participation.

The resolution proposed postponing the elections initially set for February 8th, 2024, aiming to enhance engagement and participation from all regions and diverse political affiliations.

February Elections: Pakistan’s Complex Dynamics

Pakistan has a history of three out of eleven general elections occurring in February (1985, 1997, and 2008).

Originally slated for November, the general elections were delayed due to the dissolution of the lower house in August. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) needed more time to redraw constituencies after last year’s population census.

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The politically and economically unrestful nation of 241 million people has witnessed the incarceration of former Prime Minister Imran Khan since August, facing charges, including allegedly disclosing state secrets, which he denies.

Amid political tensions, Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), faced challenges, including rejected nomination papers and a legal dispute over its election symbol.

The security situation in the country worsened, with the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies estimating over 600 attacks in 2023, a 60% increase from 2022, mainly in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

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