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June 2, 2018

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PPP not in favour of delaying general elections

KARACHI: Central leaders of the Pakistan People's Party have said that the PPP is not at all in favour of delaying the forthcoming general elections in the country, which should be held on July 25, 2018 at all costs.

Speaking at a press conference here at the media cell on Friday night, PPP leaders expressed the fear that an attempt was being made to delay the holding of general elections and prolong the tenure of the caretaker government in the country.

The press conference was held after the PPP leaders attended the meeting of Central Election Cell at the Bilawal House. Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari jointly chaired the meeting of the Election Cell. The meeting among other matters took into consideration the situation surrounding the holding of general elections in the country.

The PPP leaders said that the hasty resolution passed by the Balochistan Assembly and similar other incidents had compelled them to think that an attempt was being made to delay the general elections and extend the duration of caretaker set-up in the province.

They said the Election Commission had not been ably discharging its constitutional obligations. They said that new nomination forms for the electoral candidates had been designed by the parliament as any law passed by the parliament could only be interpreted by the Supreme Court. They said that the subordinate judiciary could not alter the nomination form for the electoral candidates as it was approved by the parliament.

Speaking at the press conference, PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan said that the PPP had become concerned over holding of elections in the country on the basis of certain incidents, which had taken place in the country during last two to three days.

He said that the meeting of the People's Party’s leadership had held a detailed discussion on these incidents, including the resolution passed by the Balochistan Assembly in haste and the letter sent by the outgoing chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for delaying the general elections. “In case their demands are met, then one year is required to hold the general elections,” he said.

Similarly, the PPP leader said that court judgments were also being pronounced regarding the issues related to delimitation of electoral constituencies. He said that time would be required if in case the process of delimitation of constituencies was started once again. “Whereas more time would be required to invite and consider objections of public over these new delimitations of constituencies. It seems that a system is in action to delay the elections,” he said.

He said that it was the consensus opinion of both Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari that elections should be held on time and polls should not be postponed. “A conspiracy is being hatched to delay the elections. It is the demand of People's Party that elections should be held on the designated date of 25 July,” said Aitzaz Ahsan.

He said that any extension in the tenure of the caretaker government set up in the country would be unconstitutional. PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah said that only the Supreme Court had the right to review the laws passed by the parliament.

Farhatullah Babar said the Election Commission should have publicly expressed reservations over the resolution recently passed by the Balochistan Assembly. He said that the recent Senate elections were held on the basis of newly-designed nomination forms for candidates as their annulment would create undue uncertainty in the arena of politics. The courts should honour all such matters, he said.

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