PPP decides to prepone Pakistan general elections
The ruling Pakistan People's Party has decided to hold the general election and the polls to the Senate ahead of schedule against the backdrop of rampant speculation that the government may not be able to complete its tenure, according to media reports on Friday.
A meeting of the top leadership of the PPP chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday decided to hold elections to the Senate or Upper House of Parliament in mid-February instead of March 11 as scheduled, the Dawn newspaper quoted an unnamed PPP leader as saying.
The Pakistan Today daily quoted its sources as saying that the PPP had decided to hold the general election on October 16 this year, instead of 2013, under an interim government.
Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah was quoted by TV news channels as saying that the next general election could be held any time after the presentation of the budget in June.
Shah said the PPP was ready for the general election and voters' lists too were ready.
Media reports said the PPP had decided to hold the polls ahead of schedule as the government is facing innumerable political and legal challenges.
There is also speculation that the PPP-led coalition may be "wrapped up or face a big blow" before the Senate election, the reports said.
"Under the Constitution, we can hold Senate elections any time within one month before March 11," Nayyar Bokhari, Leader of the House in the Senate, told the media.