Zardari’s delimitation statement his own view, sticks to timely polls’ demand: Bilawal

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday distanced his party from his father, former president Asif Ali Zardari’s statement backing the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold polls after the delimitation of constituencies is completed. Earlier in the day, PPP Co-chairman Zardari expressed full confidence in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), saying that fresh delimitation under the census 2023 was mandatory. However, the PPP after a central executive committee (CEC) meeting on August 25 demanded that polls be held within 90 days as obliged by the Constitution. During a press conference in Badin, PPP chairman Bilawal was asked about the difference in his and Zardari’s stance on elections. At this, Bilawal told the reporter to ask Zardari about what he meant with his statement. He recalled the PPP’s CEC meeting, headed by him and the former president, where the forum considered both opinions regarding the time of elections and all the party’s legal experts told the meeting that the Constitution makes it clear that elections have to be conducted within 90 days of the dissolution of assemblies. “I am bound to [follow] President Zardari on our family matters but as far as political matters, Constitution and party policy are concerned, I’m bound to [follow] my workers’ and my party’s central executive committee’s decisions,” said Bilawal while taking to the media in Badin. Today, Zardari came to the defence of the ECP, asserting that a fresh delimitation exercise has become obligatory following the notification of the new census. Zardari’s statement, conveyed by the PPP through its social media accounts, emphasised the electoral authority’s mandate to conduct elections in accordance with the Constitution. Zardari’s statement followed calls from various PPP leaders, including party chairman Bilawal, urging the ECP to announce the date for general polls and adhere to the constitutional requirement of holding elections within 90 days. The party reiterated these demands during its delegation’s consultative meeting with members of the ECP.