Elections 2013: Zardari blames ROs for PPP’s defeat in Punjab

Says he will complete his constitutional tenure.

Khalid Qayyum May 20, 2013
President Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: AFP


Fuelling doubts about the transparency of the May 11 elections, President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the returning officers (ROs) played an important role in the elections.

“If I get [the support of] these ROs, I can win the presidential election,” he said while talking to a delegation of South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) at Bilawal House on Sunday. The PPP did not want to sacrifice ‘another Bhutto’ just for another 25-26 seats, he added.

Quashing rumours about his plans to step down, President Zardari said he would complete his constitutional term. “If I did not resign at the time of elections [to lead PPP’s campaign], there was no justification for my resignation now,” he said.

He said that the PPP could not run a proper elections campaign in Punjab because of the Taliban threats. Moreover, the judiciary was also against PPP, he added. “The party couldn’t fight on multiple fronts simultaneously.”

Despite reservations, President Zardari said that the PPP has conceded defeat and he will administer oath to the party that has won the mandate. “The opposition leader will be from the second largest party in the National Assembly,” he said. “We would have no issue if PTI becomes the second biggest party and gets the opposition leader slot.”

President Zardari said that the PPP lost 40 to 45 seats because of its poor elections strategy. Asked what would be the party’s strategy if the 2013 elections were held again, the president said he would step down to lead PPP’s election campaign.

He said that Manzoor Wattoo was made the president of Punjab chapter of PPP in view of the traditional biradri politics in the province not because of his ideological stance. Wattoo worked hard but unfortunately his efforts did not yield the desired results, he added.

He said two former premiers from his party – Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf – could not effectively lead PPP’s election campaign. Gilani was busy making efforts for the recovery of his son, while Ashraf was fighting court cases against him.

President also blamed the energy crisis for the poor performance of PPP in the elections. “The PPP government could not handle the electricity crisis and this caused the party’s defeat in the elections,” he added.

About Sindh where the PPP has emerged as the single largest party, President Zardari said that the PPP would form a coalition government with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), though the party has enough seats to form the next government independently.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2013.

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Malik MAAZ | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

Reason of loosing in multan is lack of youth wing and ignorance of workers and in pp197 canidate was unable He ignores workers in does not met with people In na150 ppp canidate was not strong NOw its my request to lead the youth wing and make the party strong

Aftab Kenneth Wilson | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend We have very short memories. Majority here are blind in their approach about 18-20 amendments, new name given to NWFP and now KP, agreement with Iran for a gas pipe line and Gawadar port agreement with China. There are many long term and short term building dams, coal projects to generate electricity which will start functioning within five years time for which I hope NS will not take credit.I hope NS and SS will now end load shedding in six months, two years or three years and according to Mr. Imran Khan, foreigners will come to Pakistan looking for jobs ...... bla bla bla. The tall promises by these leaders during their elections tours will be very soon exposed and people will again come out on streets because this is what we are when we close our eyes and follow like sheep. Let me mention here that this is according to the internal and external plan. Present set up will not last more than two years. This is only a temporary arrangements to facilitate our God Fathers ....... remember 2014-15.
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