PPP Hints At Desire To Hold General Elections In October

PPP Hints At Desire To Hold General Elections In October
As the assemblies near the end of their constitutional term and termination of the assemblies now all but assured following Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's announcement the other day, one ruling coalition member has now voiced its desires on when the assembly term should end and hence when elections should be held.

In a statement, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Secretary General Nayyar Hussain Bukhari has said that instead of dissolving the assemblies ahead of the August 13, 2023, constitutional deadline, it should be allowed to complete its constitutional term.

The difference between dissolving the assembly ahead of the constitutional term or allowing it to naturally expire at the end of the constitutional term mean that in the first scenario, elections will have to be held in a maximum of 90 days. In the second scenario, elections must be held within 60 days, per the Constitution.

"It is my opinion, instead of dissolving the assemblies prematurely, they should be allowed to complete their constitutional term," he said.

The veteran politician said that dissolving the assemblies just a few days before the assemblies completed their constitutional term would create a less-than-ideal impression.

"Members of the assembly took oath on August 13, 2018," he said, adding, "By this measure, the next elections should be held the day assemblies complete their five-year term."

However, he added that once the assembly completes its term, elections should be held by October 12, or 60 days after the assembly completes its term.

He believed an additional 30 days to hold elections would not make much difference.

"According to the law and constitution, the Election Commission of Pakistan is supposed to be prepared to hold elections within 60 days of the assembly completing its term."

On finalizing the makeup of a caretaker setup, Bukhari said that this was something that the prime minister and leader of the opposition needed to figure out together.

If the two fail to decide on a caretaker setup, then the matter will be referred to the parliamentary committee.

With PPP Chairperson and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari part of the federal cabinet, Bukhari said that he is likely to be consulted by the prime minister over any caretaker setup.