Sharifs party divided over election boycott

December 2nd, 2007 - 2:54 pm ICT by admin  

Lahore, Dec 2 (ANI): The Nawaz Sharif led Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is divided over boycott of the January 8 elections, since most of the partys Central Working Committee members are in favour of contesting the polls.
Sources said that the All Parties Democratic Movements (APDM) deadline for its decision to boycott elections (December 15) conditional on the reinstatement of deposed superior court judges - might also be reviewed after meetings with Benazir Bhutto and Fazlur Rehman.
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was under heavy pressure to decide whether or not to boycott the general elections, with many senior leaders expressing their desire to contest, sources said.
Insiders said that the CWC members that were in favour of boycotting the elections were also evenly split, with half of them in favour of boycotting the polls outright, while the rest were in favour of a tie-up with the PPP for a combined boycott.
“Many senior leaders and CWC members want the PML-N to go for the general elections with a forceful campaign,” insiders said, adding that Nawaz Sharif himself seemed ambivalent.
They said that in the CWC meeting attended by Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif had also suggested that other parties be consulted before taking a decision on the boycott.
The meeting, they said, had also taken into consideration the fact that many CWC members had filed their nomination papers and seemed quite interested in contesting the general elections instead of leaving the field open for other parties.
The Daily Times quoted sources as saying that Nawaz was consulting the APDM in principle, but it seemed that he had not made up his mind.
“Probably, this is because of his long absence from the country and now he wants to absorb many things and issues first,” a CWC member said.
“Otherwise, if he would have declared his decision, the party would have to follow it in principle,” the member added.
PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, who also acts as convenor for the APDM, confirmed that there was such a division in the ranks of the PML-N.
He said that he was among those who had strongly advocated taking part in the elections. (ANI)

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