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PPP Secretary General, Latif Khosa. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: The PPP said on Tuesday that an attempt was being made to keep it out of the electoral process.

Addressing a press conference, PPP Secretary General Latif Khosa said top leaders of his party were being disqualified by returning officers and election tribunals, apparently to weaken its position in the May 11 polls.

Without naming the powers behind the alleged move to corner the PPP, Mr Khosa said: “We don’t need a toothless election commission.”

An election tribunal had turned down an appeal of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday.

“Returning officers and election tribunals are working on an agenda which is not based on transparency and fair play,” he alleged, adding that the pre-poll rigging was being committed against the PPP.

He said tribunals were supposed to work under the election commission, but it appeared that they were working on someone else’s agenda.

The PPP leader said his party would contest the elections at any cost even if its top leaders were kept away from the electoral process. “Even if PPP’s main candidates are disqualified, their substitutes will win the polls,” he said.

Mr Khosa said that ROs had accepted nomination papers of several candidates who had been convicted or found guilty in different cases, but PPP leaders, including Mr Ashraf, were disqualified only on the basis of some allegations which had yet to be proved in court.

He said nomination papers of former speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Fehmida Mirza, were checked even after the RO had accepted them. But papers of her opponent Yasmeen Shah, who possessed no tax number, had been accepted.

He said a PML-N leader from Rawalpindi had been allowed to take part in the polls despite his alleged involvement in the ephedrine case.He said some hidden powers had sabotaged the PPP’s election plan under which former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was to lead the party’s campaign in south Punjab, Mr Ashraf in Potohar and former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah in Sindh.

Mr Khosa said that Mr Gilani and Mr Ashraf who were considered to be the face of the party had been disqualified. In a statement issued in Lahore, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said that Mr Ashraf’s disqualification would raise serious questions about the electoral process.

“No one is guilty until proved to be so. If disqualification is to be carried out merely on the basis of allegations, then it will not be possible to find a single candidate to contest the elections in view of the political environment of Pakistan,” he said.

Comments (12) Closed

observer Apr 17, 2013 03:36am
Congratulations. Khosa Sb. just realized what is obvious since months and months.
YOUSUF HUSSAIN Apr 17, 2013 03:51am
yes,I agree with Latif Khosa comments,actually the establishment is trying to installed strick relogious government in the country,they have complete plan for it,you can see the every day development that show that they have decided to keep out the ANP,PPP and MQM from the election race.
Farhan Apr 17, 2013 03:54am
I was waiting to see when the PPP will attempt to play victim again. The Chief Election Commissioner was nominated by the PPP so they can't really say that the ECP is biased against them.
Hamood Apr 17, 2013 04:32am
ECP does not need to keep PPP out of polls. PPP's performance for the past 5 years will do just that.
aziahmed63 Apr 17, 2013 05:15am
really Mr Khose ....ooohh what a shame , you should not only be kept out of electoral process , all of you should be in jail for the next 5 years......
Nazir K Ali Apr 17, 2013 06:46am
Sir, that is no attempt but a long 'overdue blessing in waiting.' Salams
Husain Jan Apr 17, 2013 07:00am
Accusation against ECP and the tribunals and that too by PPP ? Offense is the best defense, has all along been the policy of this party who claims to have roots in masses. Please leave this policy and accept the rulings now, not done during your rule, but please accept now.
haya Apr 17, 2013 07:13am
lol PPP your time is over now
Saad Ahmed Apr 17, 2013 07:41am
The fact that ECP and Courts had to resort to disqualification of our candidates or accepting a candididate like Dasti as soon as he parted ways with the party is means that PPP's time is anything but over. We live in the hearts of masses and for our time to be over you have to defeat us in polls!
Ali Apr 17, 2013 09:03am
What ECP and Courts have done to PPP is correct and on merit. What ECP and Courts are doing to PML-N is not fair, both are favouring the Noora League blindly, it is obvious. They are doing this based on instructions from Kayani just to make sure PTI does not come to power because Army does not want change and does not want accountability, they want to keep enjoy power and corruption like they have been doing it for last 60 years.
Tanvr Afgan Apr 17, 2013 09:24am
after ruining the main federal party, these characters want to wreck it for good.
TKhan Apr 17, 2013 01:14pm
"an attempt was being made to keep it out of the electoral process." It is totally wrong to make an attempt to keep PPP out of electrol process; we all condemn it. However, an all out attempt must be made to keep PPP out of government for ever! Good Riddance!