Elections

Chapter 1: Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissions

ARTICLE 213. Chief Election Commissioner.
(1) There shall be a Chief Election Commissioner (in this Part referred to as the Commissioner), who shall be appointed by the President [in his discretion.]
(2) No person shall be appointed to be Commissioner unless he is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court or is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court and is qualified under paragraph (a) of clause (2) of Article 177 to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court.
(3) The Commissioner shall have such powers and functions as are conferred on him by the Constitution and law.

ARTICLE 214. Commissioner's oath of office.
Before entering upon office, the Commissioner shall make before the Chief Justice of Pakistan oath in the form set out in the Third Schedule.

ARTICLE 215. Term of office of Commissioner
(1) The Commissioner shall, subject to this Article, hold office for a term of three years from the day he enters upon his office:

Provided that the National Assembly may by resolution extend the term of the Commissioner by a period not exceeding one year.

(2) The Commissioner shall not be removed from office except in the manner prescribed in Article 209 for the removal from office of a Judge and, in the application of the Article for the purposes of this clause, any reference in that Article to a Judge shall be construed as a reference to the Commissioner.
(3) The Commissioner may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office.

ARTICLE 216. Commissioner not to hold office of profit.
(1) The Commissioner shall not,
  1. hold any other office of profit in the service of Pakistan; or
  2. occupy any other position carrying the right to remuneration for the rendering of services.
(2) A person who has held office as Commissioner shall not hold any office of profit in the service of Pakistan before the expiration of two years after he has ceased to hold that office:

Provided that
  1. this clause shall not be construed as preventing a person who was a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court immediately before his appointment as Commissioner from resuming his duties as such Judge on the expiration of his term as Commissioner; and
  2. a person who has held office as Commissioner may, with the concurrence of both Houses, be reappointed to that office before the expiration of two years after he has ceased to hold that office.
ARTICLE 217. Acting Commissioner.
At any time when,

(a) the office of Commissioner is vacant, or
(b) the Commissioner is absent or unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause, a Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice of Pakistan shall Act as Commissioner.

ARTICLE 218. Election Commission.
(1) For the purpose of election to both Houses of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), Provincial Assemblies and for election of such other public offices as may be specified by law or until such law is made by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) by Order of the President, a permanent Election Commission shall be constituted in accordance with this Article.

(2) The Election Commission shall consist of,
  1. the Commissioner who shall be Chairman of the Commission; and
  2. [four] members each of whom shall be a Judge of a High Court [from each Province] appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned and with the Commissioner.
(3) It shall be the duty of the Election Commission constituted in relation to an election to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against.

ARTICLE 219. Duties of Commissioner.
The Commissioner shall be charged with the duty of,

(a) Preparing electoral rolls for election to the National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies, and revising such rolls annually,
(b) organizing and conducting election to the Senate or to fill casual vacancies in a House or a Provincial Assembly; and
(c) appointing Election Tribunals.

ARTICLE 220. Executive authorities to assist Commission, etc.
It shall be the duty of all executive authorities in the Federation and in the Provinces to assist the Commissioner and the Election Commission in the discharge of his or their functions.

ARTICLE 221. Officers and servants.
Until [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] by law otherwise provides, the Commissioner may, with the approval of the President, make rules providing for the appointment by the Commissioner of officers and servants to be employed in connection with the functions of the Commissioner or an Election Commission and for their terms and conditions of employment.

Chapter 2. Electoral Laws and Conduct of Elections

ARTICLE 222. Electoral laws.
Subject to the Constitution, [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] may by law provide for:

(a) the allocation of seats in the National Assembly as required by clauses (3) and (4) of Article 51;
(b) the delimitation of constituencies by the Election Commission;
(c) the preparation of electoral rolls, the requirements as to residence in a constituency, the determination of objections pertaining to and the commencement of electoral rolls;
(d) the conduct of elections and election petitions; the decision of doubts and disputes arising in connection with elections;
(e) matters relating to corrupt practices and other offences in connection with elections; and
(f) all other matters necessary for the due constitution of the two Houses and the Provincial Assemblies; but no such law shall have the effect of taking away or abridging any of the powers of the Commissioner or an Election Commission under this Part.

ARTICLE 223. Bar against double membership.
(1) No person shall, at the same time, be a member of,
  1. both Houses; or
  2. a House and a Provincial Assembly; or
  3. the Assemblies of two or more Provinces; or
  4. a House or a Provincial Assembly in respect of more than one seat.
(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall prevent a person from being a candidate for two or more seats at the same time, whether in the same body or in different bodies, but if he is elected to more than one seat he shall, within a period of thirty days after the declaration of the result for the last such seat, resign all but one of his seats, and if he does not so resign, all the seats to which he has been elected shall become vacant at the expiration of the said period of thirty days except the seat to which he has been elected last or, if he has been elected to more than one seat on the same day, the seat for election to which his nomination was filed last.

Explanation:- In this clause, "body" means either House or a Provincial Assembly.

(3) A person to whom clause (2) applies shall not take a seat in either House or the Provincial Assembly to which he has been elected until he has resigned all but one of his seats.

(4) Subject to clause (2), if a member of either House or of a Provincial Assembly becomes a candidate for a second seat which, in accordance with clause (1), he may not hold concurrently with his first seat, then his first seat shall become vacant as soon as he is elected to the second seat.

ARTICLE 224. Time of election and by-election.
(1) A general election to the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly shall be held within a period of sixty days immediately [240A] [following] the day on which the term of the Assembly is due to expire, unless the Assembly has been sooner dissolved, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than fourteen days before that day .

Provided that on dissolution of an Assembly on completion of its term, the President, in his discretion, or, as the case may be, the Governor, in his discretion but with the previous approval of the President, shall appoint a care-taker Cabinet.

(2) When the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly is dissolved, a general election to the Assembly shall be held within a period of ninety days after the dissolution, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than fourteen days after the conclusion of the polls.
(3) An election to fill the seats in the Senate which are to become vacant on the expiration of the term of the members of the Senate shall be held not earlier than thirty days immediately preceding the day on which the vacancies are due to occur.
(4) When, except by dissolution of the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly, a [general] seat in any such Assembly has become vacant not later than one hundred and twenty days before the term of that Assembly is due to expire, an election to fill the seat shall be held within sixty days from the occurrence of the vacancy.
(5) When a seat in the Senate has become vacant, an election to fill the seat shall be held within thirty days from the occurrence of the vacancy.
(6) When a seat reserved for women or non-Muslims in the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly falls vacant, for death, resignation or disqualification of a member, it shall be filled by the next person in order of precedence from the party list of the candidates submitted to the Election Commission for the last general election by the political party whose member has vacated such seat.
(7) When a care-taker Cabinet is appointed, on dissolution of the National Assembly under Article 58 or a Provincial Assembly under Article 112, or on dissolution of any such Assembly on completion of its term, the Prime Minister or, as the case may be, the Chief Minister of the care-taker Cabinet shall not be eligible to contest the immediately following election of such Assembly.

ARTICLE 225. Election dispute.
No election to a House or a Provincial Assembly shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such tribunal and in such manner as may be determined by Act of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).

ARTICLE 226. Elections to be secret ballot.
All elections under the Constitution shall be by secret ballot.