PPP voices concerns on elections to European NGO

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Islamabad, Sep 22 (UNI) Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party voiced its concerns about the conduct of ''free and fair'' general and presidential elections to the visiting members of a European-based NGO working for democracy.

The seven-member delegation of the party met officials of First Step and raised issues like President Pervez Musharraf's election in army uniform and the changing of rules by the Election Commission for presidential candidacy.

One of the member, on condition of anonymity, said they told the members of the NGO that free and fair elections were not possible under Gen Musharraf,the Daily Times reported.

He said the NGO officials told them that although the president contesting the election in army uniform was against the spirit of democracy, they would play their role in ensuring the restoration of real democracy through free and fair elections.

About raising the issue of change of rules by EC just to favour Gen Musharraf's re-election, he said they apprised the representatives of First Step about their demands for a neutral caretaker set-up and independent EC to oversee the elections.

The PPP delegation included Jahangir Badr, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Sherry Rehman, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Nisar Khoro, Farzana Raja and Enver Baig, while the First Step delegation comprised its Chairwoman Ms Reita, James Remeir, John Cannon and Mr Tim.


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