ISLAMABAD: Election Commission has rescheduled the forthcoming bye-elections for the vacant seats of National and Provincial Assembly; the Election Commission has deferred bye-elections for a period of two months. According to Press release of the Election Commission, bye-polls would now be held on eighteenth of August instead of the eighteenth of June this year. The EC sources said that the bye- elections was delayed due to overall law and order situation in the country particularly in NWFP, and federal and provincial budgets.
Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad, Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan clarified that the candidates who have filed Nomination Papers with the Returning Officers concerned need not file their Nomination Papers afresh.
Further more Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) Raja Zafrul Haq and Syed Zafar Ali Shah lamented the delay and said that the dictatorial regime was still intact as there has been no improvement in the democratic institutions while every step was being taken to block way of strengthening of state institutions. They said that decision of the Election Commission to postpone election for two months was not based on merit that smell of forces at work to block the way for transparent by polls.
Even Senator Asif Ali Zardari Co-Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party has condemned the postponement of bye elections to the vacant National and Provincial Assemblies seats by two months. According to reports he has decided to meet the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Monday evening to bring to his attention the Party’s serious reservations over the postponement. Bye- elections that were to be held on June 18; postponed by the Election Commission for two months.
In a statement issued Monday Senator Asif Zardari demanded to know as to the real reasons behind the postponement saying that the reasons cited by the Election Commission did not appear credible. It may be recalled that the bye-elections were earlier announced to be held on June 3. The Election Commission however postponed them to June 18 saying that political parties were not ready and wanted more time to file nomination papers. At that time also the political parties had rejected the postponement.
The PPP Co-Chairman said that holding of bye-elections within sixty days for a seat falling vacant was a constitutional requirement under Article 224 (4) of the Constitution. As such the postponement for the second time was intriguing, as it was in conflict with the constitutional requirement. He said that the PPP was ready to field its candidates in the bye-elections on June 3 and also on June 18. The Party had already invited applications from candidates for election tickets and made all necessary preparations in this regard. Even if the law and order situation was bad in any particular locality it provided no justification to postpone bye-elections throughout the country.
Asif Ali Zardari has said that he will also go to court along with PML-N against the postponement of bye-Elections, In this regard he has talked to Kh. Asif also.