PML-N invites PPP ire over ‘blame game’

PPP leader Shazia Marri addressing media in Lahore on September 14, 2023 in this still taken from the video. — YouTube/Geo News
PPP leader Shazia Marri addressing media in Lahore on September 14, 2023 in this still taken from the video. — YouTube/Geo News
  • PPP to share its stance on election after CEC meeting tomorrow. 
  • Marri says attempt to create confusion regarding election made.
  • She says the party already voiced its demand for early elections.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Shazia Marri has said that it does not matter if the party’s former ally, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), continues to put blames on others.

“The PML-N can keep blaming, it does not matter,” Marri said while addressing the media in Lahore after the PPP’s central executive committee’s (CEC) meeting on elections on Thursday.

As the time of general elections in the country closes in, the political parties become actively engaged in consultations and their campaigns to contest in the polls, with PPP calling for the electoral process to be held within 90 days as per the Constitution

She said that the CEC meeting will be continued tomorrow (Friday), during which the situation after a meeting with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will be deliberated upon.

“An attempt to create confusion regarding the election has been made,” Marri said while referring to President Arif Alvi’s letter to the chief election commissioner, suggesting November 6 as the date for the polls.

She further said that the letter will also be discussed in the CEC meeting and the decisions taken there will be shared after the meeting. 

The ex-lawmaker said the party had voiced its demand of early elections earlier as well.

“The game President Alvi plays midway is weird,” Marri said, adding that the legal experts say that the president doesn’t have the right to announce the election date.

She said that the PPP wants the polls to be conducted at the earliest so that the country comes out of uncertainty but the ECP is to give a date, as the party stressed in the last meeting.

“We are saying that the delimitation should be done if it has to be. We are hopeful that the election commission will conduct the polls soon,” she added. 

It may be noted that all the political parties are now gearing up for the upcoming general elections in the country. However, the matter of elections hangs in balance due to uncertainty regarding the date and timing of the election.

With political circles divided on the time of polls, President Arif Alvi has urged the chief election commissioner to hold the polls on November 6, 2023, a date that falls within the 90-day period since the dissolution of assemblies.

The PML-N-led coalition government dissolved the National Assembly on August 9 while the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies were also prematurely dissolved to allow the electoral authority to hold elections in the country within 90 days instead of 60 days if the legislature completed its constitutional tenure.

If the elections are to be held within the 90-day limit, then the polls are due on November 9, 2023.

However, before dissolving the assemblies the coalition government in a Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting had unanimously approved the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023.

According to Article 51 (5) of the Constitution, the seats of the National Assembly to each province and the federal capital shall be allocated on the basis of population as per the new census.

Following CCI’s approval, the ECP on August 17 announced the schedule of new delimitations which exceeded the November 9th 90-day constitutional limit, almost making sure that the elections are likely to be held post the 90-day mark.

As per the schedule announced by the ECP:

  • September 8 to October 7 — Delimitation of the constituencies to be held across the country.
  • October 10 to November 8 — Proposals regarding constituencies to be submitted.
  • September 5 to September 7 — A quota of constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies to be allocated.
  • August 21 — Constituency committees of four provinces to be established.
  • August 31 — Administrative matters related to the constituencies to be completed.
  • November 10 to December 9 — ECP to decide on the objections to the constituencies.
  • December 14 — Final publication of the delimitation.

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