PDM not to participate in by-elections

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Tuesday unanimously decided not to contest the upcoming by-elections on the National Assembly’s vacant seats.

The PDM’s decision was shared by Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb who, while referring to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said that now only a “fascist party” would contest the by-polls and return to the lower house.

In her statement, she said the “fascist party” was clueless about its political future. On the one hand, it had approached the courts for the approval of the resignations of its members of the lower house and, on the other, against their acceptance.

The move comes after key PDM allies — Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam–Fazl (JUI-F) — had also decided to abstain from contesting the by-elections.

The seats had fallen vacant after more than 100 lawmakers of the former ruling party resigned en masse in April last year from their seats in line with Khan’s direction — in a bid to pile up pressure on the PDM.

Presuming that the government could not go on without a substantial number of vacant seats, the PTI’s policy seemingly misfired, and the PDM continued to rule the country.

The federal information minister also questioned why the PTI MNAs had resigned en masse, besides dissolving the provincial assemblies, if they wanted to contest the by-elections.

The “fascist party” seemed to be in an imbroglio as it was trapped among elections, parliament and courts, she added. Marriyum said Khan would no more be allowed to create chaos in the country.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced that it will hold by-polls for 33 vacant NA seats on March 16 and later on March 19 for the other 31 seats. The dates for the rest of the other seats are yet to be announced.

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