Elections would be held within a couple of months: Pak PM

Islamabad, Jan 23: Amidst growing speculation about the schedule for Pakistan's next general election, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday said his government is committed to holding free and fair polls "within a couple of months".

Addressing a meeting of the Council of Common Interest, which includes provincial chief ministers, Ashraf did not give details about the government's schedule for the polls and the formation of a caretaker administration. "The government is committed to hold free, fair and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and laws on the subject. "

"This will enable the people of Pakistan to exercise their free will to elect a government of their choice for the next tenure," he said, adding that elections would be held "within a couple of months". The national and provincial assemblies would complete their tenure within a few weeks and the government is "fully committed to its political and constitutional obligations and believes in strengthening the institutions in their own spheres", Ashraf said.

Democracy is "gaining strength" with the collective wisdom of the federal and provincial governments, he contended. The Pakistan Peoples Party-led government is set to complete its term on Mar 16 and several federal ministers have said the polls are likely to be held by mid-May. This will mark the first time in Pakistan's history that power will be transferred from one elected civilian government to another.


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