PDP in favor of delayed polls under emergency
Monday, 06 October 2008

Staff Correspondent

The Progressive Democratic Party has asked the government to push back general elections slated for Dec 18, questioning whether 'good leadership' can arise in the country when "the two rival political forces have been rehabilitated over the last few months"..

PDP chairman Ferdous Ahmed Quarishi, at a press conference Sunday, also demanded a referendum in November and that the general election be held under emergency
 
"Elections will not be fair without making use of the historic opportunity created by the political changeover on 1/11," he said.
 
He also said his party's decision regarding participation in parliamentary polls would be taken at its national convention at the end of the month.
 
Speaking at the party central office at Segun Bagicha, Quarishi demanded a referendum in November to ensure settlement of corruption cases before the general election, and to bring balance between the powers of the president and the prime minister.
 
The party also wants cancellation of the Section 70 of the Constitution to abolish parliamentary autocracy.
 
"If certain flaws in the constitution cannot be removed, a meaningful election cannot be held," he said.
 
"For that a referendum has to be arranged before the parliamentary election."
 
Questioning the credibility of a recent statement by army chief Moeen U Ahmed, Quarishi said: "There is a doubt in people's minds as to how General Moeen's expected 'new leadership' will arise, when the two rival political forces have been rehabilitated over the last few months through government initiative and government cost."
 
The army chief said recently that he hoped the country would secure good political leadership in January 2009 that would steer the nation on the course of development.
 
Expressing concern, Quarishi said: "A hasty election without creating the promised level playing field will throw the country into a pre-1/11 situation or even worse."
 
"People think that direct and indirect influence of black money and local and foreign conspiracy has created helplessness for the heroes of 1/11. They are not being able to show firmness to fulfil the pledge given to the people."
 
On the logic of holding elections amid the state of emergency, Quarishi said: "If the election is not held under emergency the criminals who have been sheltering in India will return and the godfathers will again be influential."
 
"The government has realised though belatedly that a meaningful and fair election is not possible without the state of emergency. PDP has taken a strong stand in favour of the demand from the very beginning."
 
Quarishi said his party was set to apply to the Election Commission for registration.

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