PPP calls for prompt announcement of election date

PPP says president has no authority to set election date n Shazia Marri claims party being pushed against the wall

LAHORE   -  The central executive committee (CEC) of the PPP convened on Thursday made a firm demand for the imme­diate announcement of the election date to dis­pel the prevailing un­certainty surrounding the electoral process in the country. 

Co-chaired by the PPP-P President Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chair­man Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the meeting re­mained inconclusive and is set to continue for an additional day to solidify the party’s stance on the current political situation.

Speaking to report­ers after the initial ses­sion of the party’s CEC, Central Secretary of In­formation Shazia Mari emphasized that the top priority for the PPP at this juncture was the prompt declaration of the election date. She added that the ques­tion of whether the date would be announced by the president or the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was of secondary importance to the PPP. 

Shazia Mari also stressed the impor­tance of potentially conducting constituen­cy delimitation, but as­serted that announc­ing a specific election date was equally cru­cial to alleviate the un­certainty surrounding the country’s electoral process. She reiterated the PPP’s commitment to upholding the Con­stitution in matters re­lated to elections.

The PPP spokesper­son announced that the CEC meeting had been extended for another day to gather input from all members and establish a unified position on election-related issues. In response to a question, she clarified that the CEC members and the party’s consti­tutional experts were in unanimous agreement that the president did not have the authority to set an election date, as this power rested with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Responding to a question about al­leged differences within the PPP re­garding the timing of elections, she explained that while every party member had the right to express their individual opinions, the final decision would be made by the party’s central executive committee. Commenting on the president’s letter to the ECP, she described it as an attempt to further complicate the existing confusion. 

She informed reporters that CEC members had expressed reservations about the treatment of the PPP in the current situation, citing a lack of a lev­el playing field and the party being pushed against the wall. The PPP’s apex body would formulate its response to the allegations made by the PML-N against the PPP, she added. Speaking on the occasion, senior PPP leader Fais­al Karim Kundi raised concerns about the caretaker governments in the four provinces, alleging unfair treatment and development works which con­tinue unabated in all provinces except Sindh. He claimed that political rea­sons had led to the halt of construction work on a girls’ school in his constitu­ency. He also mentioned transfers and postings of officials in Punjab and KPK against the rules. In response to a ques­tion, he noted that two estranged party leaders, Aitzaz Ahsan and Sardar Latif Khosa, could not attend the CEC meet­ing due to their prior commitments in Islamabad. He clarified that Latif Khosa remained a part of the PPP, despite be­ing served a show-cause notice for vio­lating party discipline.

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