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Pakistan’s Election Commission Rejects Call to Delay Presidential Vote

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denied a request on Saturday from Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) candidate Mahmood Khan Achakzai to postpone the presidential election. Achakzai argued that the election should be delayed due to numerous vacant reserve seats in national and provincial assemblies.

The ECP responded that Achakzai had not raised this concern during the nomination phase, and the electoral college is already prepared to conduct the polls. They pointed out that all assemblies are now functioning following the recent elections for Prime Minister and Chief Ministers.

This comes as incumbent President Dr. Arif Alvi is currently serving an extended term after his official five-year term ended last September. The extension was granted because the National and Provincial Assemblies were dissolved at the conclusion of his term.

Achakzai argued that proceeding with the election without filling the vacant seats would be unconstitutional. He mentioned submitting a legal challenge to the Peshawar High Court regarding this issue and expressed hope for a fair ruling.

Despite this last-minute attempt to delay the vote, the election proceeded as planned on Saturday. The ruling coalition, comprised of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), had previously endorsed Asif Ali Zardari of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for the presidency.

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