The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has said that the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) planned in Lahore on Thursday (today) may re-deliberate upon its position regarding the elections’ date.
Sources have expressed mixed opinion regarding the outcome of the committee with some speculating that in a bid to dial up pressure on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce a date for general elections, the PPP will reaffirm its demand for timely polls, while others claiming that party will reconsider its position in the light of the new development, including the party delegation’s meeting with the ECP.
However, the sources hinted that the party might consider recalibrating its stance on 90 or 120 days’ election timeline, bringing it in line with the position taken by PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
Read Bilawal takes a dig at PML-N on poll date
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who kicked off his election campaign from Karachi a couple of days ago, arrived in Lahore on Wednesday without a grand reception.
The failure to organise such a reception led some in Punjab to place the blame on the Lahore chapter for its inability to gather sufficient attendees.
In response, the Lahore chapter shifted the blame on to the party managers for Bilawal’s campaign, citing failure to communicate the precise arrival plan.
According to Acting PPP Punjab President Rana Farooq Saeed, all CEC members, including Atizaz Ahsan and Sardar Latif Khosa, had been invited to the CEC meeting.
However, he was not sure whether the two leaders would attend or not. On the party’s agenda for the CEC, he said: “It has not been made public.”
PPP spokesman Faisal Karim Kundi, while talking to The Express Tribune, said other than the demand for elections in 90 days, the ECP’s assurance for timely polls will be put before the CEC members for deliberation.
On the ongoing confusion regarding the party position on polls date, he said: “Every suggestion, including Zardari’s, will be put on the table.”
Former PPP MPA Hasan Murtaza said that among other things, “the party will reaffirm its demand for elections within 90 days”.
He said that the election campaign and preparation will also be discussed during the CEC meeting.
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Regarding the positions on polls date taken by the PPP chairman and co-chairman, he said: “There is no contradiction”, in what both were saying, terming it “misinterpretation by the media”.
Another leader, however, claimed that party will discuss the issue of the two different positions, as the “conflicting stances have created an embarrassing situation” for the party.
He said that the party might even consider “slightly changing its earlier announced position” from stringent demand of elections within a certain time period, to a “more generic demand” of polls at the earliest – in line with Zardari’s position.
However, he said that this would be for the party’s CEC to decide.
A PPP office bearer revealed that the party’s local leaders had asked permission to arrange a grand reception. However, he revealed that the leaders were told to arrange a ceremony only if a sizable crowd could be arranged.
PPP leader Faisal Mir rejected this notion, saying that they wanted to arrange a reception, but they were not confirmed whether the PPP chairman would be coming via motorway or GT Road till late Tuesday night. Had they been informed on time, Faisal said, a grand reception would have been arranged.