Postponement of elections in Pakistan appears imminent

December 29th, 2007 - 7:05 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
Islamabad Dec 29: The assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto may lead to postponement of elections in Pakistan

As supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) spilled onto the streets in open defiance of the ruling regime, President Musharrafs Government planned to consult both allies and opponents as the anger sparked by Bhuttos killing may be too intense to allow for a peaceful election, the Dawn reported.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) announced his partys boycott of the election. He has also appealed to the other parties in the fray the PPP and two other opposition groups in the electoral contest the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and the NWFP-based Awami National Party to follow suit.

The PPP though has yet to decide its course of action as it has announced a 40-day mourning for its slain leader. Political sources say that it may be difficult for the PPP to carry on with the elections as it has lost its most charismatic leader who was buried in her ancestral graveyard at Garhi Khuda Bux in Sindh province on Friday.

Opposition parties grouped in the All Parties Democratic Movement had already abstained from the process from the start mainly for fear of vote-rigging and the governments refusal to restore about 60 judges of the Supreme Court and the four provincial high courts sacked as a consequence of the now lifted extra-constitutional emergency imposed by President Pervez Musharraf on Nov 3 in his then capacity as Chief of the Army Staff.

If the PPP, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and the Awami National Party decide to boycott the January 8 elections, it would mean a total boycott of the National Assembly and also the four Provincial Assemblies.

The formerly ruling Pakistan Muslim Leagues (PML) interim Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro his Law Minister Syed Afzal Haider said on Friday their government would consult political parties over the post assassination scenario and the forthcoming elections, adding that a decision about what should be done was likely to be taken after the three-day mourning the government had declared for Ms Bhutto. (ANI)

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