October 23, 2023
ISLAMABAD – PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi on Sunday said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was bound by the Constitution and could not delay polls on the wishes of two political parties.
His remarks come as the PPP has stepped up its demand for holding timely elections. During a rally in Karachi earlier this week, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had called for the immediate announcement of election date.
He had also accused the ‘state’ of making all-out efforts to bring back PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif — who returned to Pakistan on Saturday after four years of self-imposed exile — even at the cost of damaging democratic norms and delaying general elections beyond the constitutionally-mandated deadline.
Last month, the electoral watchdog had announced that general elections would be held in January next year but did not provide a date. The JUI-F had opposed to the timing of polls due to “weather conditions”, while the PML-N threw weight behind the ECP.
Talking to reporters a day earlier, Nawaz said he would abide by the date the commission gives. “The process takes time. Some work is left. A census has been done. Delimitations have to be carried out. ECP has an eye on all these things,” the PML-N supremo had said.
In a statement issued today, PPP’s Kundi said delaying elections amounted to planning to “steal” polls.
He lamented how the ECP still hasn’t announced the date for elections. “Polls cannot be delayed on the wishes of two political parties,” the PPP leaders said.
“The ECP is bound by the Constitution and not by two personalities,” he stated, adding that the country should head for polls instead of “experimenting with selection over and over again”.
“It is only the people’s choice who they want to choose and who they want to reject,” Kundi added.