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General elections to be held in eight months, says Zardari

June 20, 2012


A view of the National Assembly. The president has called a session of the Lower House on Friday, June 22, 2012 to elect a new premier after the Supreme Court disqualified his prime minister on Tuesday.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari discussed the country’s current political crisis at a meeting of the Pakistan People’s Party’s leadership here Wednesday, following the Supreme Court’s verdict disqualifying his prime minister.

Addressing the meeting of the PPP’s Parliamentary Party members at the Presidency, the president said that the decision to nominate a new leader of the House would be taken in consultation with the coalition partners and in the larger national interest.

The president said that the PPP had temporarily accepted the court’s judgment, despite its reservations on the ruling, for the sake of democracy.

Moreover, he said that the next general elections would be held in eight months time.

Former prime minister and the party’s vice chairman, Yousuf Raza Gilani, who also attended the meeting, said he had worked according to the constitution and the law.

“I would continue to serve the masses and the country to the best of my capacity. I remained loyal to the party,” said Gilani.

The apex court on Tuesday had declared Yousuf Raza Gilani disqualified from holding a seat in the parliament for refusing to reopen graft cases against President Zardari.

The PPP’s Parliamentary Party members have reposed their confidence in President Zardari, authorizing him to nominate a new prime minister.

During today’s meeting, the president also briefed members on his consultations with coalition party leaders for election of a new premier.

Zardari said that the PPP did not want confrontation among state institutions, and that it would ensure that the democratic process continues without any disruption.