PML-N Split Over Polls Using 2023 Census

PML-N Split Over Polls Using 2023 Census
In a surprising revelation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that the elections would be held based on the most recent census results.

Everyone was left wondering why there had been such an abrupt change of heart.

"We must hold the elections based on the results of the most recent census... If a census has been completed, the polls shall be held in accordance with it, barring impassable obstacles. I don't see [any such obstacle], though," he added.

PM Shehbaz said that the CCI would be notified as soon as the census results were complete.

He firmly said that there should be no delays in elections when asked about them, but he also emphasized that "the election commission will be in the driver's seat."

The announcement by PM Shehbaz differs from earlier statements made by his ministers, who claimed that the upcoming election would be held using data from the 2017 census.

On the other hand, while giving an interview on the Geo News show "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, the Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives remarked, "I have already stated that if the new census is approved, then the 90-day limit would be exceeded."

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a significant member of the ruling coalition, has made it plain that they would not permit elections based on an outdated enumeration, which has put the coalition government in a bind and raised questions about timely elections.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) disagreed with the MQM-P and declared that the digital census would not be notified due to several legal obstacles.

The minister defended his position by stating that it will take many months for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to start a new delimitation process based on the results of the 2017 census.

The federal planning minister stated, "If we want to enter the 90-day cycle, then we will have to agree to hold the elections based on the old census."

After the election law was changed to give the commission more authority, the minister stated that the ECP, not the government, is in charge of declaring the dates for the holding of elections.