PPP demands elections in 90 days, PML-N wants delimitation first


ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has called for elections to be held within 90 days across the country.

The demand was made following a meeting of the PPP’s Central Executive Committee, presided over by Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto.

During the session, a comprehensive exchange of ideas took place regarding the overall political and economic situation of the country.

The gathering delved into discussions about the devastating floods in Punjab and also addressed the practical aspects of the impending general elections.

Later, in a media briefing, PPP’s central figure, Sherry Rehman, emphasised that there was no contradiction between their stance and their actions on the matter of population census.

She stated that when constituencies are not being altered, elections cannot be advanced. She reminded that the party had previously asserted that elections would not be conducted ahead of the population census.

Rehman expressed the PPP’s commitment to strive to alleviate the public from the grip of economic adversity, highlighting the current grave economic conditions.

Furthermore, she mentioned that the people were enduring the hardships of poverty at present.

She said that the PPP meeting also deliberated on the rising costs of essential commodities, leading to the formation of a committee to suggest relief measures for the public.

Rehman mentioned that the PPP will bring forth its identical proposition during its interaction with the ECP scheduled for August 29. Following this engagement, the party will once more assemble a CEC session and devise its course of action based on the commission’s feedback, she said.

Meanwhile, a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz delegation led by Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Azam Nazeer Tarar, Ataullah Tarar and others held discussions with Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and other ECP officials.

According to a press release issued by the electoral watchdog, the PML-N representatives apprised the ECP officials that the Council of Common Interests had unanimously endorsed the census outcome and its subsequent publication, following mutual consent from all political parties to base the upcoming elections on the new census.

According to the press release, the PML-N endorsed the delimitation timetable issued by the commission and affirmed its alignment with both the constitution and the law.

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Additionally, the delegation proposed a simultaneous process of updating electoral lists and delimitation to avoid any delay in election.

Furthermore, the party suggested a renewed discussion on the election code of conduct, emphasising a prohibition on hate speeches. The party recommended permitting only posters and stickers during campaigns to curtail candidate expenses. Media campaigns by parties were also suggested, and individual campaigns by candidates were proposed to be disallowed.

The delegation suggested to the ECP to assign district returning officer and returning officer duties to its own personnel.

The CEC reassured the delegation of the ECP’s commitment to expedite combined delimitation and electoral list updates. He conveyed that the ECP would engage with political parties for code of conduct consultations, followed by finalization, the press release said.

He also affirmed the ECP’s dedication to transparent and unbiased elections, ensuring an equal playing field for all parties and the enforcement of the code of conduct.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Iqbal emphasised that the 2023 general election would adhere to the seventh census, stressing that once the results were confirmed, they should be submitted to the ECP for election arrangements.

He emphasized the constitutional obligation for delimitation to be based on the “latest notified census”. Iqbal advocated for prompt delimitation to facilitate early elections.

The PML-N delegation added that the election date could be determined within 54 days after December 14 or 16, contingent on the completion of the delimitation process.

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