Tahirul Qadri announces election boycott
18 March, 2013
RAWALPINDI: Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran chief Tahirul Qadri has announced that his Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) will not contest the upcoming general elections.
Addressing a rally at Liaquat Bagh on Sunday, Qadri said that PAT would hold sit-ins at polling stations across the country on the election day. He further said that electoral reforms promised to him were not fulfilled and he was not willing to become part of the "current corrupt political system". He said members of parliament should not be given development funds and they should act as legislators.
Qadri said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was not formed under Article 213 of the constitution. He said that the commission should be impartial and reconstituted. The cleric said he was ready to withdraw his claim that the election commission was unconstitutional, if members of the commission take oath that their posting was in line with the constitution.
The PAT chief called for the election of the prime minister through popular vote instead of the National Assembly. At the same time he demanded that chief ministers and their cabinets be dissolved and powers transferred at the local level.
Qadri said his campaign for revolution would continue until a real change takes place. He said the nation needed an honest and clean leadership and claimed that he can retire all the foreign loans and build universities and hospitals in each district with the help of overseas Pakistanis.