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.