Bilawal says Zardari to be PPP’s candidate for president

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Chairman Bilawal addresses press conference after CEC meeting

THATTA, Feb 18: Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has announced that President Asif Ali Zardari will be his party’s candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, as only he can save the federation and democracy by extinguishing the fire in the country. He stated that his party was also subjected to rigging in the recent elections, and against this, the relevant forums will be approached. However, no step will be taken that would divide society and harm the federation and democracy.
He pointed out that even after the victory of Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the 1977 general elections, there was a hue and cry of rigging by the opponents, similar to today. After that, the people had to endure dictatorship for 11 years.

Addressing the mammoth public gathering to express gratitude to the people for voting his party in the recent elections, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the people have once again proved that “the chain of the four provinces is Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s PPP.”
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stated that his party has decided not to be part of the cabinet at the Center. Instead, they will ensure that the federal government addresses the problems of the people. He added, “We have decided that those parties who approached us after the elections, we will collaborate with them. Our aim is not personal gain but to work for the benefit of the people.”

Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari informed the participants that he rejected a power-sharing formula offering him the position of prime minister in the last two years of the new assembly’s term. “I was told to let them become prime minister for the first three years, and I would be the premier for the remaining two years. However, I refused, as I did not want to be such a prime minister. Instead, I will sit in the National Assembly as the voice of the people. I did not contest the election to occupy the chair in Islamabad; I fought the election for the people of Pakistan to protect their rights.

Chairman PPP said that the recent elections have been held in such a way that all political parties are protesting, adding that there are three types of political parties in the country: some parties that cannot win without rigging are also protesting. There are some parties that have not won despite rigging, and they are also protesting. “The third party is the one that wins despite not rigging and that is your (people’s) PPP. He said that today there is a hue and cry everywhere on the issue of Form-45, adding that there are also Forms-45, according to which the PPP candidates had won, but their opposite candidates were declared winners. “The result of a Form-45 is one where the PPP candidate has won, but an independent candidate (by the ECP) has been declared successful. He said that all the complaints of PPP candidates will be collected and then approached to the relevant legal platform, and if justice is not done on the legal platform, then he will go to the public.

Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the country and the people are facing the most difficult situation at present. On the one hand, the country is suffering from a political and economic crisis, on the other hand, the society has been divided. Inflation, unemployment and poverty have also reached historic levels in the country. “It should be that all parties think of the interest of the people rather than their personal interests. The rest of the politicians who are older than me only think about themselves, which is harming the federation, democracy and the people,” he pointed out.

The PPP chairman said: “I want to tell those who are making allegations these days, that I also have doubts (regarding the elections). (But) let us sit down and address these complaints.” He said that even today there are politicians in the country who only want an authoritarian regime. He said that on the day of the polling, the opponents did not complain about rigging, but after three to four days they remembered that rigging had taken place.  “It is a joke for someone who calls himself Maulana to lie brazenly,” he added. He said that Pir Sahib is also blaming that there has been rigging, and added: “You tell me where the rigging took place? The facts are that we have defeated you two to three times. Pir Sahib did not win a single election in Sindh.” He said Maulana had demanded one seat in each division, while Pir had demanded 10 seats from across the province, adding that these were the seats from where the Jiyalas were clearly winning, in such a situation it was impossible to accept the demand of the rival parties.  

Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Pir Sahib and Maulana Sahib should bring Form 45 and prove that rigging has taken place. He challenged rivals saying that he has won from two seats, one of which he has to vacate (as per law), and added: “Come and contest against my candidate again on this vacant seat. Let’s see what your position is there. He said that the opponents, seeing their big rallies, fall prey to the misconception that they will win elections in this way. “(But) there is a big difference between rallies and elections,” he contended.

Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the time has come to save Pakistan once again, adding that the PPP Party is the only party that will foil all conspiracies due to the prayer and support of the public. “I appeal to all forces and political parties to think not for themselves but for the people. If there is politics of hatred, communalism and division in the society, then the federation will be in danger,” he urged. He said that if there is a threat to the federation and democracy, then he will call the workers to come out on the roads and in response, the people will have to come out like the times of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

“We are blamed for rigging, while our workers were martyred and we were targeted with terror attacks,” he said. He said that he did not know about other provinces, but the government formed in Sindh would be based on Form-45. “We tried to convince (Imran) Khan to strengthen democracy, but even today his party is non-serious, (whose leaders) are claiming that they have won the election,” he said, adding that the truth is that no one is able to form a government without the PPP. He  said that during the 18-month coalition government, the promises regarding development projects were not fulfilled.