PPP to protest across Sindh against Punjab polls

PPP to protest across Sindh against Punjab polls

KARACHI:

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Sunday announced demonstrations to be held across Sindh on April 25 against court-mandated elections in Punjab voicing its reservations against piecemeal elections.

Seeking both provincial and general elections on the same date, PPP Sindh President Nisar Khuhro said that the party will hold protests across all district headquarters.

“Sindh will only accept same-day elections, not separate polls,” he said.

He stressed that  Section 69 of the Elections Act, 2017 dictates that elections should be held in the national and provincial assemblies on the same day.

“Holding elections on separate dates will be synonymous with dividing the country into two parts,” said Khuro implying that there were “plans” to influence electoral results in the two remaining provinces by holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) first.

The PPP leader urged the courts “not to become party to Imran Khan’s conspiratorial efforts”, adding that “Sindh will not allow for a wedge to be drawn between the country”.

Khuro underscored that it is for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to oversee the provision of elections and to decide the date for elections. Therefore, he said, the electoral watchdog should be given space to fulfil its duties.

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“Any interference with the powers of the ECP would translate as an attempt to rig polls,” he said as he urged the Supreme Court to constitute a full bench to review its earlier orders concerning provincial elections.

He also suggested that “if need be, Punjab and K-P assemblies may be restored ” and permitted to complete their constitutional period. After this, he said, caretaker governments could once again be set up and elections be held on the same date across the country.

Notably, the call for protests has come after the apex court granted political parties until April 26 to build consensus over provincial elections; otherwise, the court noted, its order regarding the Punjab Assembly elections on May 14 would come into force.

“We are cognizant that if political dialogue extends to address all grievances, then it is likely to be a lengthy process and the correct forum for that is the political arena and political institutions,” read a five-page written order issued by a three-judge bench of the apex court.

Despite the chief justice’s efforts, however, the politicians appear to be sticking to their guns and despite the early positive response, an agreement on the polls still seems hopeless.


#PPP #protest #Sindh #Punjab #polls

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