Gilani says not stepping down after budget

The Speaker of the National Assembly recently ruled out the possibility of Gilani being disqualified due to his conviction.

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said he had no plans to resign after the presentation of the next budget this week in the wake of his conviction of contempt by Pakistan`s Supreme Court.

"After all the achievements, why should I resign after the budget?" Gilani said during an appearance on the monthly television programme "Prime Minister Online", during which he answers questions from people around the country.

Following his conviction of contempt by the apex court last month for refusing to act on orders to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, there has been speculation that he might resign after the presentation of the budget tomorrow.

The Speaker of the National Assembly recently ruled out the possibility of Gilani being disqualified due to his conviction.

However, the Speaker`s ruling has been challenged in the apex court by the opposition PML-N and the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf.

"I understand that after the decision of the Speaker there is no need for any appeal... Parliament is the supreme institution and it has its own domain, and all the institutions derive power from the parliament, and after her decision the matter is over," Gilani said.

The Speaker`s ruling was in accordance with the Constitution and since the matter was referred to her by the Supreme Court and she decided according to the Constitution, the issue had been settled and the opposition is wasting its time in courts, he said.

"We respect the courts, but we also respect the parliament and the Speaker`s ruling and the... Decision should not have been challenged," he added.

Gilani, who recently became Pakistan`s longest-serving
premier, said after the announcement of the next budget tomorrow, there will be development in the country and relief for the people.

The next general election will be held according to schedule and the government will take the opposition into confidence to ensure free, fair and impartial elections, he said.

"It is my dream that our democratically elected government brings about a smooth change of power to the next elected government," he said.

The transition of power from his government to the next elected government should be smooth and it should not be in any unconstitutional manner, he added.
Replying to a question about the defence budget, Gilani said: "It should be according to the needs of the country".

The defence budget is even less than the requirements due to the current situation, he said.

Responding to another question, he said a Seraiki province will be established in the southern part of Punjab before the next election.