PDM did not favour ‘Charter of Democracy’: Bilawal

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Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday said that former coalition parties, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), did not favour a “Charter of Democracy” to bring opponents to the same table.

While addressing a political rally in Muzaffargarh, Bilawal said that his party tried for a new “Charter of Democracy (CoD) but it couldn’t be done.

The statement came in response to a question about taking Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on board for political stability as it was done in the past under a CoD.

“As far as the PTI is concerned, those who were involved in the May 9 attacks, it is very difficult for us [to hold talks with them],” Bilawal said, adding, “An incompetent and ineligible prime minister was imposed due to which [country] had to face a crisis at the economic and foreign level.”

Without naming it, the former foreign minister took a subtle jibe at a political party, by saying that it is “really a weird thing that a certain party has given the date for the election”.

It may be noted that President Arif Alvi, in response to his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) call, suggested November 6 for holding the general election in the country.

“Not me, the chief election commissioner, or anyone knows when the polls would be held but this party knows that,” Bilawal said.

He said that any party cannot resolve the issues faced by Pakistan single-handedly. “All parties will have to sit together to take the country out of crises.”

Bilawal added, “The PPP is answerable for its ministries and the PDM [Pakistan Democratic Movement] for its own.”

Bilawal also told his supporters that a meeting of the PPP’s central executive committee (CEC) on elections will be held tomorrow (Thursday).

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led (PML-N) coalition government dissolved the National Assembly on August 9 while the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies were also prematurely dissolved to allow the electoral authority to hold elections in the country within 90 days instead of 60 days if the legislature completed its constitutional tenure.

If the elections are to be held within the 90-day limit, then the polls are due on November 9, 2023.

However, before dissolving the assemblies the coalition government in a Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting had unanimously approved the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023.

According to Article 51 (5) of the Constitution, the seats of the National Assembly to each province and the federal capital shall be allocated on the basis of population as per the new census.

Following CCI’s approval, the ECP on August 17 announced the schedule of new delimitations which exceeded the November 9th 90-day constitutional limit, almost making sure that the elections are likely to be held post the 90-day mark.

As per the schedule announced by the ECP:

  • September 8 to October 7 — Delimitation of the constituencies to be held across the country.
  • October 10 to November 8 — Proposals regarding constituencies to be submitted.
  • September 5 to September 7 — A quota of constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies to be allocated.
  • August 21 — Constituency committees of four provinces to be established.
  • August 31 — Administrative matters related to the constituencies to be completed.
  • November 10 to December 9 — ECP to decide on the objections to the constituencies.
  • December 14 — Final publication of the delimitation.

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