PPP to protest if elections delayed, says Syed Khursheed Shah

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Federal Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Shah stated that the PPP will have to “take firm and strong stand” if general elections are delayed.

The administration has declared that on August 9 the assemblies would be dissolved, and that elections will thereafter take place 90 days after the legislatures’ terms have ended.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already expressed its inability to hold elections on the basis of the new population count within the allotted time because it will have to conduct a new delineation of constituencies in this case. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated during an interview earlier this week that elections would be held based on the most recent census.

A fresh delimitation, which might take months, is now required after the Council of Common Interests (CCI) accepted the findings of the 2023 digital census the day before. As a result, it is now almost guaranteed that general elections won’t be held this year.

Although the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), one of the ruling coalition’s members, has previously opposed holding the subsequent general elections under the new census, their silence at the CCI meeting has created concerns.

However, he claimed that recent claims about elections being done in accordance with the 2023 census had raised his doubts. Prior to the CCI’s acceptance of the census findings for 2023, the interview was conducted.

The minister pointed out that the delimitation procedure, which took four months, was mandated by the Constitution in a very unambiguous manner. Therefore, he said, “I don’t see elections taking place on November 12 or 13.”

If there was a postponement in the election, he continued, the PPP would “take a stand.”

Shah stressed the importance of adhering to the Constitution when asked about the status of the caretaker premier’s appointment.