Since the National Assembly was dissolved by the president on the advice of the prime minister, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja stated that it was not within the purview of President Arif Alvi to set a date for the upcoming general elections. Section 57 of the Elections Act of 2017 was amended on June 26, 2023, according to the amendment Act of 2023, the head of the electoral body noted in his letter. “That prior to the amendment of Section 57(1) of the Act ibid, the President was required to consult the Commission in terms of Section 57 of the Elections Act. 2017, before appointing a date for election. However, after the amendment in Section 57, the Commission has been empowered to announce the date or dates for the General Elections”. He said that the president can appoint a date for the general election when he dissolves the National Assembly, in his discretion, as provided in Article 58(2) read with Article 48(5) of the Constitution. “However, if, the Assembly is dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister or by afflux of time as provided in Article 58(1) of the Constitution, then the Commission understands and believes that power to appoint a date or dates for elections rests exclusively with the Commission. The Commission believes with utmost respect that the reliance placed on the provisions of the Constitution mentioned in your subject letter are not applicable in the present context,” reads the letter. A letter inviting Sikandar Sultan Raja to a meeting to set a date for the nation’s general elections was sent by President Alvi to him a day earlier. After the new digital census was approved, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decided to conduct a new round of constituency delineation. It made it clear that general elections might take place after the 90-day window allowed by the constitution. On August 9, Pakistan’s National Assembly was prematurely dissolved, and according to the Constitution, elections must be held within 90 days. “And Whereas by virtue of Article 48 (5) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President is obliged to appoint a date not later than ninety days from the date of dissolution for the holding of the General Election of Assembly,” he wrote. Citing Clause 5 of Article 48, the president said it was his duty to “appoint a date, not later than ninety days from the date of the dissolution, for the holding of a general election to the Assembly”.