Pakistan government ask EC to rescind decision on bypoll delay


Islamabad : Pakistan government will ask the Election Commission to rollback its decision to postpone the June bypolls by two months after the issue snowballed into a major row within the ruling coalition The PML-N, a key ally in the coalition led by the Pakistan People’s Party, yesterday sought action against senior PPP leader Rehman Malik after it emerged that he had asked the North West Frontier Province government to seek the postponement of the by-polls.

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PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who met here late Tuesday night, decided that the government would ask the Election Commission to hold the by-polls to eight national and 30 provincial assembly seats in June instead of deferring them to August.

Sources said Zardari and Gilani agreed that the sudden announcement by the poll panel to defer the by-polls had caused “huge embarrassment” to the PPP and created confusion within the coalition.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman said the government will approach the Election Commission to reverse its decision to put off the polls.

A meeting of the cabinet is expected to decide whether the Election Commission should be asked to conduct the by-polls as earlier scheduled on June 18 or after the passage of the budget.

The NWFP government has said that Malik, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior Affairs, had asked the provincial chief minister to request the poll panel to put off the elections.