Par elections in Pakistan on January 8: Musharraf

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Karachi, Nov 19: Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said that he was recommending the Election Commission to hold the polls in the country on January eight.

Speaking as chief guest at the farewell dinner held for provincial asssembly members here last night, the Presdent was by the Nation as saying ''Inshallah (God willing), the general elections in the country will be held on January 8.'' He said the assemblies never completed their full term and this was for the first time that they are being dissolved on completing their five-year tenure.

Gen Pervez Musharraf said the MPAs would now be going for the next general elections and hoped that they would return. He also pointed out that in the past the prime ministers were ousted by presidents but he has been emphasising from the very beginning that whatever the situation may be such a power should not be exercised.

This, he added, may only be used when the country faces any danger. Gen Musharraf said he has always been saying that the National and Provincial assemblies should complete their terms and elections be conducted in a smooth manner.

The President said he is proud that he has fulfilled his promise that the assemblies would complete their full terms and then elections be organised.

He asked the coalition partners to show unity for still better performance in the coming elections, set aside petty differences and rise above self ego.

Gen Musharraf said the coalition should come up with merit- based candidates, ones capable of winning should be brought into the field in a harmonious manner.

The President said the step he had taken on November 3 regarding imposition of emergency was in the interest of the country.

He justified the step taken on March 9 of dismissal of then Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and said it was to avert a conflict between judiciary, executive and parliament which was leading to political uncertainty and the economy was also being affected.

He further pointed out that ''now when we are going for the general elections, there are certain elements who want to create disturbance and are talking of boycott.'' Gen Musharraf said those who do not have confidence in themselves resort to boycott and that such elements know that they would lose the election and that is why they are thinking of resort to boycott.


UNI

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