GUJRAT: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has proposed to hold general elections across the country, announced Chaudhry Salik Hussain, ARY News reported on Sunday.
In a statement, federal minister Chaudhry Salik Hussain said that the PML-Q president has apprised Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif of his proposal to hold general elections.
“It has been decided that joint candidates of PDM [Pakistan Democratic Movement] will be fielded across the country,” he said, adding that PML-Q will not merge with PPP or PML-N.
A day earlier, PTI Chairman Imran Khan demanded the government to hold general elections across Pakistan, reiterating that political stability was imperative for economic growth.
Citing the Supreme Court’s verdict, Khan said he was sure that they would conduct general elections. “Polls are the first step towards getting out of this quagmire,” he said adding that political stability will come from elections.
He also said that people’s confidence will also increase when a government comes into power with a public mandate.
The former prime minister emphasised that all institutions, including the judiciary, needed to come together and agree on reforms. He pointed out that no government could think of going alone and tackling the country’s issue by its own.
A day earlier, President Arif Alvi announced April 30 as the date for elections in Punjab following the Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict in holding elections within 90 days.
The announcement from President Alvi comes after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) proposed dates for the election in the province in light of the Supreme Court (SC) verdict.
“President Dr Arif Alvi has announced to hold general elections of Punjab Assembly on April 30, Sunday,” tweeted the President’s office. “The decision was made by the president after considering the dates proposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan,” it added.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) today proposed Punjab election date between April 30 and May 7 in a letter written to President Arif Alvi.
The Supreme Court, in a 3-2 verdict, ruled on Wednesday that elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab should be held within 90 days.
CJP Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar supported the verdict, while Justice Jamal Mandokhail and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah opposed the admissibility of the suo moto notice and dissented from the majority verdict.
Justice Shah and Justice Mandokhail in their dissenting notes agreed with the position of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Athar Minallah. “The matter was already being heard in the high courts, Supreme Court cannot take suo moto notice on the undertrial cases in the high courts.”
The short verdict stated that the Election Commission of Pakistan failed in discharging its role in the election. The announcement of the election date in KP is the responsibility of the provincial governor, while the president has the authority as per law and constitution to fix the election date in Punjab.
The verdict further stated a consultation to fix the date of elections in Punjab, if they are not possible on April 9, the date announced by the president.