Election date to be announced Wednesday in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Jan 1 (KUNA) — The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday said that the date of elections will be announced on Wednesday to allow more time for consultation with political parties.

Talking to reporters after the ECP meeting, the ECP secretary Kanwar Dilshad avoided using the “delay” word and said the commission has decided to consult all political parties before taking any decision.

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The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister and chairperson of Pakistan People Party (PPP), has plunged Pakistan into riots and cast doubt over the holding of elections, scheduled for January 8.

According to official sources, elections are likely to be delayed till mid-February due to security concerns and heavy damage incurred on dozens of polling offices across Pakistan.
Local daily Dawn citing ECP sources that it was not possible to complete the printing of ballot papers by January 5 as required by the program prepared by the Commission. The suspension of oil supply and closure of petrol and gas stations adversely affected the electoral process in terms of transportation and logistics, it said.

The law and order situation in many parts of the country was not conducive to electioneering, it said, adding that a fresh exercise was needed to be undertaken in a number of sensitive areas.