The Pakistan Tehrkeek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced Thursday it would start a country-wide protest movement starting Friday (today) as the party seeks to force the coalition government into early elections. “From Friday, country-wide protests will start against rising inflation, deteriorating economy, and shortage of gas,” PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry told journalists in Lahore after the party’s high-level meeting with Imran Khan in the chair. In the first phase, Fawad said PTI’s members of national and provincial assemblies would lead the protests for three weeks in their constituencies across the country. “After three weeks, Imran Khan will join the campaign and this process will continue till this government is ousted,” the PTI leader said, asking the nation to join hands with the party. Chaudhry also revealed that a “huge protest” will be organised for the release of detained party Senator Azam Swati – who has been in custody in a case pertaining to controversial tweets against senior military officials. Fawad said PTI and its ally, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), have a majority – 190 lawmakers – in the Punjab Assembly, and they are currently mulling over to take the vote of confidence. “We will try that CM Elahi takes a vote of confidence before January 11. 177 Punjab Assembly lawmakers are in contact with us,” the former information minister said. He also blamed Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman for becoming part of ‘a conspiracy’ in de-notifying Elahi as the chief minister. “The governor and the chief secretary will have to come to the assembly and answer for their actions.” Fawad said it was the PTI’s prerogative to either continue the Punjab government or dissolve it as he slammed the opposition for allegedly horse-trading. “Whenever a market [for buying lawmakers] is staged, Zardari comes to Punjab with bags full of money,” the PTI leader said, slamming the PPP co-chairman. In his response to reports about the plans to bring forth a technocrat government, the PTI leader said there was “no space” for such a set-up in the country anymore. “PTI’s senior leadership has rejected the plans regarding the imposition of a technocrat government,” Fawad said, asking those “dreaming” of the set-up that their dreams would not come true. He said that the only solution to the country’s ongoing problems is snap and transparent election, and some elements did not want polls to take place, rather they are aspiring to appoint technocrats for running the affairs. “The Pakistani nation will not, in any shape or form, accept a technocrat government. Nawaz Sharif wants the imposition of martial, however, it is due to Khan’s patience that no such plans were executed.” He also warned that no matter who is appointed in the technocrat government, they would not be able to overcome the crisis as he told the establishment that the idea would be a “complete flop”. “If you look at the Constitution, elections are the only way out. The public will not accept a technocrat government. They will only accept general elections,” he stressed. Chaudhry went on to say that “some quarters” in the country were against holding snap polls. “I’m telling the establishment that they will be entirely blamed for this experiment. Pakistan should not be made a lab rat,” he warned.