Pakistan

Establishment likely to push for elections in April: Imran

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Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said that the establishment was likely going to push for general elections in April 2023.

Speaking to senior journalists in Lahore, he expressed confidence that Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi would take a vote of confidence from the Punjab Assembly before the Lahore High Court's (LHC) next hearing on January 11.

On Friday, the Lahore High Court reinstated Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as the chief minister after Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman ousted him for failing to take a vote of confidence.

On Dec 17, Imran had announced that the Punjab Assembly would be dissolved on Dec 23. However, in a bid to stop the dissolution, the governor had on Dec 19 ordered CM Elahi to take a vote of confidence two days ahead of the PTI chief’s deadline.

Read more: Imran sees elections in March or April

But that did not happen as Speaker Sibtain Khan said the assembly was in session and a new one could not be called as it would be unconstitutional.

The LHC reinstated Elahi as the CM on the assurance that he would not dissolve the Punjab Assembly before the next hearing on January 11.

"I have no contact with the establishment… it seems that it is going to push for general elections in April," Imran told senior journalists in Lahore today.

He said that the general elections would be held when two assemblies of the country are dissolved. "We have no issues even if there is a delay in holding general elections despite the dissolution of assemblies," he added.

Also read: Dissolving assemblies is our constitutional right: Imran

The former premier said that PTI did not dissolve the assemblies immediately as it had to convince the allies as well.

To a question about CM Elahi, Imran said that he would take a vote of confidence before January 11. "We have no doubt that Pervaiz Elahi would dissolve the assemblies," he further said.

A day earlier, Imran predicted that the general elections could be held in March or April 2023.

Talking to the media persons, Imran had said, “Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is on our side and I still have trust in him. Our alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) will continue because they remained steadfast with us in trying times.”

The PTI chief stressed that he would never compromise on principles to come to power. “I would never hurt the public sentiments for the government but will continue my struggle against corruption and implementation of the rule of law in the country,” he maintained.

Imran had been calling for early elections in the country since the fall of his government as a result of a no-confidence motion in April.

For this, he has also announced the dissolution of the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies where his party is in power. However, the ruling PDM was still stuck to its stance of no snap polls in the country.

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