Monday polls ‘mother of all elections’: MusharrafFebruary 14th, 2008 - 7:53 pm ICT by admin
Islamabad, Feb 14 President Pervez Musharraf Thursday termed the Feb 18 polls in Pakistan as “mother of all elections” and promised that the vote would be free, fair and transparent.
“There would be no further delays to Monday’s elections,” Musharraf said addressing a meeting of government officials telecast live on the state-run television.
He said he can assure all people that the polls would not be postponed after they were delayed in early January following the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto at a campaign rally.
“This is the mother of all elections,” Musharraf announced adding that no one will be allowed to create law and order problems during the elections.
“Despite all the insinuation and apprehensions, the elections will be free, fair, transparent and peaceful. It is my pledge to the nation,” added Musharraf.
“The derailed process of democracy is back on track and elections will be on Feb 18. In the atmosphere of terrorism, no disruption and violence will be allowed,” he maintained as the opposition warned of “dire consequences” if the election are rigged.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif told a public rally Thursday: “We are not going to tolerate any rigging and looking at all surveys and the mood of masses it is clear that no one is going to vote for the government party.”
Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari, who is leading the election campaign for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), also roared in an election rally that all could read the writing on the wall.
“The government-sponsored party is going to suffer the worst ever defeat and if there were attempts to rig the polls, masses will not spare the authorities,” he warned.
Musharraf, however, rejected accusations. “It is not possible to stop some sort of problems at the tactical level on the question of rigging, but we have taken all measures to make it rigging-free,” he added.
He also dismissed a series of recent opinion polls conducted by international organisations that show his popularity nose-diving. “They are carrying out opinion polls through NGOs who abuse us,” he said.
The president said he believed that the country comes first before democracy, adding personal interests cannot be given priority over national interest.
“I believe in such a democracy which causes progress of the country.“
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