QUETTA: A resolution demanding a one-month delay in general elections was submitted in the Balochistan Assembly on Wednesday.
The resolution, submitted by Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, sought that elections be held in August, instead of July this year, because “a majority of the public wants to undertake Hajj for which [many] would be travelling to Saudi Arabia in July” and hence, they would be unable to vote in the elections.
Expressing “concern” that the province receives monsoon downpours during the month of July, the resolution states that many districts face flooding and a lot of residents are forced to move to other areas for shelter. Such a situation would deprive these people of the opportunity to vote, it contended.
The resolution urges the provincial government to keep these concerns in mind and ask the federal government to instead hold the elections in the last week of August so that everyone can exercise their constitutional right to vote.
Last week, President Mamnoon Hussain had approved holding the General Elections 2018 on July 25 this year for both the Centre and provinces.
Earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had proposed July 25-27 as possible dates for the upcoming elections and forwarded a summary in this regard to President Mamnoon Hussain, requesting him to set one of the proposed dates as the day of the polls according to Elections Act 2017, Section 57(1).
The current government will complete its five-year term on May 31. The caretaker government will then take over to ensure a smooth transition of power after the elections.