- Party chairman sticks to his demand of elections in 90 days despite father's nod to polls after delimitation
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday said his party’s allies in the former Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) led government were “scared” and might be “running away” from the general elections.
Addressing a public gathering in Hyderabad, Bilawal said he had been advising the allies for last 18 months not to be “afraid of” the elections.
“Unfortunately, the allies seem scared as they ran away from by-elections and local bodies’ too. Now, they may be running away from the general elections,” he said.
General elections in the country are feared to be delayed after a decision was taken during the previous PDM-led government tenure to endorse the results of the digital census conducted earlier this year.
Following the approval of the latest census, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decided to conduct fresh delimitation and expressed its inability to hold the elections within 90 days of dissolution of the National Assembly. The house was prematurely dissolved on April 9, 2023.
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PMLN) and some other parties of the previous alliance say PPP was taken onboard regarding the decision to endorse the new census. However, PPP says the party wasn’t informed about a possible delay in the elections.
PPP has taken a strong stance for the elections within three months, but the party’s chairman and co-chairman were seen at odds over the polls in last two days.
ECP obligated to hold elections as per Constitution: Zardari
PPP’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Saturday that the ECP was obligated to hold elections as well as conduct delimitation of constituencies following the census results.
The former president emphasised the electoral authority’s mandate to conduct elections in accordance with the Constitution, as per a statement by the PPP.
The former president further said that the party has complete confidence in the chief election commissioner and the ECP’s members.
Zardari’s delimitation statement his personal view: Bilawal
Reacting to the father’s statement over the polls, Bilawal said the remarks were Zardari’s “personal view”.
He recalled the PPP’s Central Executive Committee’s (CEC) meeting, presided over by him and the former president, where the forum discussed the timing of elections and took into account both viewpoints.
“All of the party’s legal experts informed the gathering that the Constitution clearly states that elections must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of assemblies,” Bilawal said.