The Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) has announced that it will not contest by-elections on vacant National Assembly (NA) seats, but only if the Awami National Party (ANP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) also boycott the upcoming polls. The PPP has set this condition, demanding that coalition parties should jointly announce a boycott of the by-polls as it refuses to leave the field empty for ANP and MQM-P.
Sources suggest that the PPP leadership was divided on boycotting the polls, with the majority of party members being against ANP and MQM-P contesting the elections. They believe that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) would suffer political damage if both parties contest the polls.
Earlier, the PPP had decided against contesting the upcoming by-elections on the National Assembly and accepted the proposal tabled by the PDM. The decision to boycott the polls was taken during the PPP's parliamentary board meeting, chaired by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The meeting decided, in principle, to boycott the by-polls and let the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf fight against no one. The candidates who were nominated to contest the polls were taken into confidence.