ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Tuesday said that the Election Commission of Pakistan must give a date for general elections without any further delay.
Speaking at a news conference after a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman urged the caretaker government to facilitate national elections within a 90-day timeframe since the dissolution of the National Assembly.
During the meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, the PPP expressed its concerns and reiterated the need for elections under the Constitution.
The Electoral Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has recently announced a plan for new delimitations based on the fresh digital census in the country. However, the time required for delimitation suggests that holding elections within 90 days of dissolving the assemblies might not be possible. The PPP emphasized the constitutional requirement for elections within a set timeframe and indicated that their next steps would be discussed in a Lahore meeting.
Sherry Rehman said they had a meeting with the CEC in a pleasant environment during which they raised their reservations about the general elections.
“It is the electoral body’s responsibility to conduct the elections, however, the Constitution says the polls should be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly,” she added. Speaking on the occasion, PPP leader Nayyar Bukhari said the Constitution says elections should be conducted within the given time period. “We will finalise our next action plan in the CEC (PPP Central Executive Committee) meeting in Lahore,” Bukhari added.
He said the PPP believes that the Constitution was supreme. “The Chief Election Commissioner heard our position and promised that they will hold a meeting on this matter and inform us,” the PPP leader said.
Meanwhile, the Jamaat-e-Islami also moved the Supreme Court, requesting that general elections be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly.
Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi says the caretaker government is only responsible to assist the Election Commission of Pakistan and has nothing to do with the date for general elections.
Speaking during a program of a private news channel on Tuesday, he said following the amendment in the Elections Act, authority to set date for general elections rests with the Election Commission. The Minister said the caretaker government will extend all out support to the Election Commission for holding general elections in the country.
To a question regarding decision on issue of electricity bills, he said we need to take IMF on board and caretaker Minister for Finance Shamshad Akhtar is in touch with the IMF authorities and decision in this regard will be made soon.