ISLAMABAD: Following is the full text of the notification, issued by the Chief Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) here on Wednesday. According to the notification, the upcoming general elections would be held on February 18, 2008 as situation was not conducive for holding the polls on time.
No.F.2(11)/2007-Cord.- WHEREAS, in the aftermath of unfortunate assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, ex-Chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party on the 27th December, 2007, the law and order situation in the country suffered deterioration, as a result whereof, the offices of the Assistant Election Commissioners located in Jamshoro, Naushero Feroze, Kamber Shahdadkot, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Badin, Dadu, and Kashmore Districts of the Province of Sindh were set on fire and the buildings along with record including Electoral Rolls, Transparent Ballot Boxes and Voting Screens, etc were reduced to ashes and all activities pertaining to pre-poll arrangements including printing of Ballot Papers and logistics as well as Training of Polling Personnel were affected adversely;
AND WHEREAS, the offices of the District Returning Officers/Returning Officers of Jacobabad, Kashmore, Kambar Shahdadkot and Khairpur District of Sindh Province were also set on fire causing damage to the property as well as record;
AND WHEREAS, according to the Political Agent/DRO, Kurram Agency, the law and order situation in that Agency is not conducive for the conduct of Poll, for which requests have been received from the FATA Secretariat, Peshawar for the postponement of Poll in Kurram Agency till restoration of normalcy in the area;
AND WHEREAS, due to riots throughout the country, the pre-poll work and the printing of Ballot Papers has stopped at two Printing Presses at Karachi and one at Lahore, as a result where of, the logistics process of Ballot Papers along with Election Material, which was scheduled to commence from the 2nd January, 2008 has become impossible;
AND WHEREAS, the Chief Secretaries and Provincial Election Commissioners of all the Provinces have reported in the affirmative e regarding the above mentioned law and order situation in the country and the colossal damage caused to the private and public including offices of the District Returning Officers/Returning Officers and Assistant Election Commissioners;
AND WHEREAS, the month of “Moharramul Haram: is likely to commence from the 10th January, 2008 and as per reports received from the Chief Secretaries, there will be full-fledged commitment of security/law enforcement agencies towards maintaining peace and tranquility and the sanctity of the holy month and, as such, will not be available for performing election duties;
AND WHEREAS, the above mentioned position has been considered by the Election Commission of Pakistan in its Meetings held on the 31st December, 2007 and the 1st January, 2008 and it has been held that in view of the reports of the Chief Secretaries and the Provincial Election Commissioners as well as the available material, it is not possible to hold the Polls for General Elections, 2007-08 on the scheduled date i.e. the 8th January, 2008;
AND WHEREAS, Article 254 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 provides that when any act or thing is required by the Constitution to be done within a particular period and it is not done within that period, the doing of the act or thing shall not be invalid or otherwise ineffective by reason only that it was not done within that period;
NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers conferred on it under Article 6 of the Election Commission Order, 2002 (Chief Executive’s Order No. 1 of 2002) reads within Section 11A and Section 25 of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 and all other powers enabling it in that behalf, the Election Commission of Pakistan has been pleased to postpone the Polls for General Elections, 2007-08 so as to be held on 18-02-08.
By Order of the Election Commission of Pakistan.