NPP terms by-election postponement illegal
NAUSHAHRO FEROZE, Nov 13: National People’s Party leader Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi has criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decision of putting off the PS-21 by-election from Nov 17 to Dec 4 and termed the move ‘illegal’.
“The move is in conflict with Article 224 (4) of the constitution,” he told a press conference at the local press club on Tuesday.
Accusing the Sindh election commissioner of not being impartial, Mr Jatoi said that the election was postponed on the request of the ruling party, which had fielded a candidate, without consulting other parties like the NPP and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl whose candidates were also in the run as well as independent candidates.
Mr Jatoi recalled that PS-21 fell vacant on Sept 20, 2012 when PPP lawmaker Syed Ahmed Ali Shah was disqualified under a Supreme Court ruling and according to the constitution a by-election had to be held within 60 days i.e. by Nov 20.
He said the election commission was bound to fix a date earlier than Nov 20 with the consent of all the contenders.
The NPP leader also complained of illegal practices by the PPP, saying that using official powers and influence it was pressuring its opponents in the constituency and offering incentives and gratification to influential people to win the seat.
“The PPP got the by-poll postponed to buy time and ensure success of such practices,” he claimed, adding that the NPP condemned the decision of putting off the election.
When asked whether the NPP would take part in the by-election on Dec 4, Mr Jatoi said it would take a decision in this regard later.
NPP candidate Syed Abrar Ali Shah was also present at the press conference.