On Sunday, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Zardari expressed confidence that the country was moving towards more open elections by calling the current climate “favourable” for voting.
“The country is moving towards transparent elections,” he declared in a statement released today.
The senior lawmaker also expressed trust in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure fair and transparent conduct of the polls, due to be held on February 8 next year.
After five turbulent years marked by a faltering economy, political turmoil, and terrorism threats, the country is now reaching a key general election.
Major political parties in Pakistan have welcomed February 8 as the next election’s date, but have also expressed their worries citing a lack of an equal playing field, raising doubts over the fairness and transparency of the upcoming polls.
The PPP is a formidable political force, and the former head of state has stated that his party is “fully prepared” to run in the upcoming elections.
Zardari insisted, “PPP is the only party which has the ability to fight elections in every environment,” adding that he was confident the party would win the most votes on February 8.
There is “absolutely no fairness”
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have been complaining that they are not being given a fair chance to compete in the upcoming elections, and that efforts are being made to clear the way for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) return to power in the days leading up to general elections on February 8, 2024.
Earlier this week, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed frustration that his party was never given a fair chance. The party has been vocal about its dissatisfaction with the lack of fair testing conditions in the run-up to the election.
The [Islami Jamhoori Ittehad] IJI, he claimed, was established as a reaction to the PPP. The government was constituted despite the fact that there was no equal playing field. Even now, a field of some description is being embellished. PPP is always prepared for any field. With any luck, we shall prevail.”
Meanwhile, PTI has accused the caretaker administration of denying an equal playing field in light of reports of elections without Imran Khan. The PTI chairman is still behind up in Adiala Jail, and the party’s leadership says they are not allowed to campaign because of his absence.
In a meeting at the President’s Mansion on February 7, President Arif Alvi and Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja reached a consensus on the date of February 8 for the holding of general elections.
On November 3, the Supreme Court issued an order requiring the government to ensure the conduct of general elections on that date.
The rulings were issued after the court heard various petitions calling for elections to be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the legislatures.
The court’s order notes that the election monitor has issued a notice of the general election date, adding that no candidate or political party has filed a challenge to the date.