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Elections not being free and fair: Bilawal Bhutto

28 July, 2018

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KARACHI: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Friday rejected the July 25 general elections for ‘not being free and fair’, but ruled out any possibility of boycotting the parliament.

“We don’t accept the results of the elections,” PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto told a press conference here. “Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is responsible for carrying out transparent polls … but they failed to deliver,” he lamented, and demanded that the chief election commissioner must resign over failure to conduct a transparent election in the country.

“We are democracy-loving people, but cannot accept this result. I pay tribute to PPP workers, ticket holders and candidates for performing better than the last elections, but we cannot accept these results,” Bilawal said. Expressing serious concerns over what he called ‘pre- and post-poll rigging’, the PPP chief said the party will form a fact-finding committee and make its findings public.

Bilawal said that PPP will play its role as an opposition in the parliament setting an example for others on how opposition politics is done. “Free and fair elections are every Pakistani’s right and on that front we are not willing to compromise,” he said, adding that PPP will take the matter forward in the parliament.

About the APC statement regarding not taking oath, the PPP chief said that his party will not boycott parliament and will urge other parties too to take the issue to parliament. “We will talk to other parties as well and urge them not to quit the parliamentary politics despite their serious grievances. We will try to convince them to be in favour of the parliamentary process,” he remarked. “Despite the hurdles created for us, PPP performed better than the last elections. But, we will not allow these rigged elections mar the democratic process in the country,” he added.

The PPP chief also rejected all the rumours of an alliance with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to form a coalition government in Centre. “PPP will sit in opposition in the Centre,” he said.

Commenting on staying away from the all-parties conference held in Islamabad, Bilawal said the PPP decided against attending the APC as it has to set its own direction. Commenting on his defeat from Karachi’s Lyari neighbourhood, Bilawal said, “Residents of Lyari are my people and I will continue my efforts for their well-being.”

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