Political parties condemn poll delay in Pakistan

January 3rd, 2008 - 5:07 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
Peshawar, Jan 3 (ANI): All political parties in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), except the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), have condemned the six-week delay in the general elections that have now been slated for February 18.
The Pakistan Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday postponed the polls, which were earlier scheduled for January 8, citing large-scale violence and rioting in the country following former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.
Condemning the delay in polls, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Provincial President Pir Sabir Shah said that the delay was meant to provide more time to the PML-Q to revive its image, which it had lost following Benazir’s death.
Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) NWFP spokesperson Khwaja Yawar Naseer said that the government, which is “already involved in pre-poll rigging,” was “frightened” after Benazir’s death and “adopted the postponement option to create hurdles in the PPPP’s march towards success.”
While, Awami National Party (ANP) Senior Vice President Ghulam Ahmad Bilour termed it an effort to help the PML-Q through a “sham” electoral process, Jamat-e-Islami (JI) NWFP President Sirajul Haq raised doubts on the elections even being held on February 18.
On the other hand, the JUI-F Provincial General Secretary Maulana Shujaul Mulk said that the postponement would enable the contesting parties to reach to the electorates and inform them about their future programmes for the country.
PML-Q Provincial General Secretary Mushtaq Ghani said that the political parties were hurling baseless accusations on his party regarding the postponement. (ANI)

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