General elections in October, decides PPP


So, this is the elections year. Faced with innumerable political and legal challenges, the top leadership of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in a major political move on Thursday, opened a new debate by announcing Senate elections in mid-February besides holding general elections in October this year instead of 2013, under an interim government, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
This was decided at the PPP’s core committee meeting jointly chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. A source told Pakistan Today that the meeting discussed holding of the Senate and general elections ahead of schedule per the constitutional provisions and the move was endorsed by all participants.
Though the government did not make an official statement in this regard, in case of early elections, the assemblies would
not complete their constitutional tenure. The only time the assemblies completed their tenure (2002-2007) was under former president General Pervez Musharraf.
As the government was being criticised for its failure to handle all issues and a trail of alleged corruption hounding it, the political parties, particularly the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), had suggested early elections. While the PML-N demanded the government immediately step down, the PPP’s move to hold early elections is a political strategy to engage other forces and buy more time for it to stay in government.
Per the schedule, 50 percent of the senators would retire on March 12 and their successors would take oath on March 13. However, the PPP core committee meeting was told that under the constitutional provisions, the Senate elections could be held early. “So the committee decided to hold Senate polls ahead and now the same would be held in mid-February,” said the source.
The source said the committee also favoured holding of general elections ahead of schedule. However, the source said the meeting agreed that it was the right of the PPP to present a poor-friendly budget in the month of June. “It was proposed that the general elections should be held on October 16,” the source said, adding that the prime minister told the meeting that the coalition partners had also suggested holding early elections under a caretaker setup and the Salim Saifullah-formula may be adopted in this regard.
Under the Salim Saifullah-formula, the prime minister would be asked to propose three names to the leader of the opposition for the slot of caretaker prime minister. The source said some hardline PPP leaders opposed the idea of caretaker setup and asserted that PPP-led government should hold general polls. However, the president supported Gilani’s idea of caretaker government.
The PPP would hold negotiations with all political parties on caretaker set up and it may formally announce general elections in April this year. “After presenting budget 2012, the caretakers might be handed over the affairs of the government,” added the source. When contacted, Khurshid Shah told Pakistan Today that the PPP was ready for general elections and the electoral lists were also ready. The PPP is also in a defiance mood as it’s not ready to give in. With its top leaders publicly criticising, what they call the Supreme Court’s biased and selective slant towards their party and leadership, the ruling party is all set for a confrontation with the judiciary as it keeps mocking the apex court decisions inside and outside parliament.
In a clear show of defiance towards the apex court’s verdict on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and the show cause notices served on the party men for “ridiculing” the judiciary, the core committee of the PPP on Thursday endorsed the government’s decision to not write a letter to the Swiss authorities for reopening of the cases against the president, who, the legal wizards believed, enjoyed immunity under the constitution. The Supreme Court had set January 10 as last date for the implementation of its verdict on the NRO with a warning that this time action would be taken in case of non-compliance.
The meeting also gave a go-ahead to the party’s decision to adopt legal measures for creation of Saraiki province while the matter of Hazara province was deferred until an agreement with the Awami National Party (ANP) leadership.
A source told Pakistan Today that the meeting noted that the federation had already implemented the NRO verdict and since the president enjoyed immunity under the constitution, the government should not write any letter to the Swiss authorities.
“The party leaders viewed that there is no need for anyone to interpret the Article 248 of the constitution as the clause was clear and self-explanatory. Moreover, the committee members also decided in principle that the federation’s response in the memo case should be taken as of the president’s reply and there was no need for the president to respond to the memo commission,” added the source.
The source said during deliberation on the contempt notices issued to party leaders by the apex court, the core committee decided that freedom of expression was basic human right of every citizen. “The members resolved that since the court verdicts are always a public property and everyone has a right to criticise them,” the source said and added that the PPP leaders and workers had rendered unparalleled sacrifices for independence of judiciary, selective justice towards the PPP-led coalition government had no logic.
The meeting also decided to take all necessary legal steps for the creation of Saraiki province to remove the sense of deprivation among the people of southern Punjab. However, the committee viewed that the matter of Hazara province should be deferred until the party leadership and other coalition partners do not convince the ANP leadership which is a major stakeholder in the process.
Meanwhile, an official handout stated that the meeting decided to hold by-elections to all vacant seats in the assemblies and complete all legal formalities for this purpose at the earliest.
President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said political and economic situation was discussed during the meeting. The meeting hailed the cabinet decision on Wednesday to support a private member’s bill that seeks to make it mandatory for all the public servants drawing their salary from the public exchequer to declare and make public details of their assets in the same manner as parliamentarians do. The meeting noted that in the past such initiatives were thwarted on flimsy grounds and decided to push through the proposed legislation with vigour and political determination.
Babar said the meeting rejected the proposal mooted by some political circles for the setting up of military courts as undemocratic, uncalled for and undermining the civil and democratic institutions. “The party will resist any such move,” he said, adding that the meeting welcomed the prime minister’s announcement to lift ban on government jobs. Noting that the announcement was awaiting formalization, the meeting called upon the government to urgently issue appropriate notification to this effect so that the doors for recruitment in government departments were opened.
The prime minister briefed the meeting on gas, electricity, sugar and fertilizer situation in the country. Discussing the issue of gas, the prime minister said the government was giving top priority to domestic consumers and there will be no interruption to the domestic consumers. He said gas supplies to industry, cement, fertilizer and thermal power sectors would remain suspended during the current month due to expected increase in demand and consumption by the domestic sector.
The prime minister said cabinet committee had been directed to introduce reforms in the energy sector as early as possible and to take necessary steps in order to reduce system losses by gas companies.
Babar said a committee led by Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain has been tasked to hold talks with stakeholders in Sindh to share some of the gas produced in Sindh with Punjab and submit its report. The meeting appreciated these measures and called for implementing the decisions and daily monitoring by the Energy Committee.
Briefing about the economic state of affairs, the prime minister said the government’s efforts to broaden tax base had registered a significant success. He said the austerity measures adopted by the government had also yielded positive results. The measures to curtail budgetary expenditures had also met successes. He said that inflation had come down during the first six months of the current fiscal year as was witnessed by the downward trend in the Consumer Price Index and sensitive price index.
The meeting decided to mobilise people and to hold rallies and public meetings at the divisional levels throughout the country which would be addressed by the senior leadership of the party including the prime minister.
It also asked PPP KPK chapter President Senator Sardar Ali to also prepare for a public rally in the Tribal Areas, the first of its kind by the PPP after the Political Parties Order was extended to the Tribal Areas by President Asif Ali Zardari in August 2011.
Babar said the meeting decided to hold dialogue with all political parties and leaders for strengthening democracy in the country and to take the country out of myriad of problems.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik also briefed the meeting on prevailing law and order.
Babar said as a part of consultative process to take coalition partners on board on the issue of new provinces, the president, soon after this meeting, would hold a meeting with ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan. The current political situation and coalition matters were discussed during the meeting.


    • I wonder where people like you love? What has this "Truly Democracy" given us? Corrupt to the core politicians headed by the most corrupt man in the history of Pakistan. A PM who never approves a project unless he gets his commission. No Electricity ( despite that Pervaiz Ashraf dude saying 10 million times that the power crisis will be solved by end of 2009).

      No gas, no water, khnay ko roti nahi ghareeb admi kay pass.

      An interior minister who knows about the murderers of BB, who knows the trouble makers in Karachi and Balochistan but he will tell only " Waqt Anay pe"

      I can keep typing all day but I guess no one wants such democracy.

    • It is a good decision by a government put in through a democratic process.


  1. When we will get rid of this corrupt lot of politicians. PPP has made all records of corruptions and mismanagement.

  2. It means we will have to bear this corrupt Tola of Zardari and Co for another 10 months.Get Rid of these mafias,they are plundering the national trasurey with both hands;lets get united to overthrow them

  3. This country can only survive when parliament is supreme. This judiciary & military should stop playing their dirty game.

  4. If this is true, then it is super newsd. But there remain in my mind many unanswered questions. Better they remain there and let the Supreme Court tackle them. They are better equipped. Salams to Pakistan

  5. If one has to change the dates for electionsfrom 2013 to 2012. Why not to have it in within 90 days. If it 90 days are not enough time than have in 120 or 180 days. 4 to 6 months are enough for the parties to campaign and get prepared for the fresh polls. Parties like PTI, PPP and PML(N) don't need more than 90 days to nominate leaders from their areas. Besides, these 3 main national parties and other 3 regional parties like MQM, ANP and JUI(F) are ready anytime. Jamaat-i-Islami is also a national party but they have very limited representation in the Parliament. Jamaat can pull a surprise by picking few seats in the northern areas, Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi.

  6. what democracy ??? first of all this is a banana state that lives on alms from US and exports terror…who cares..!!!!!!!!

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