Elec­toral prepa­ra­tions

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

The elec­toral ma­chine is churn­ing in­ex­orably. Nom­i­na­tion pa­pers have been sub­mit­ted a large num­ber of which have been ac­cepted and others re­jected by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion. Scru­tiny of the doc­u­ments sub­mit­ted by elec­toral hope­fuls has been un­der­taken with laser-like fo­cus fol­low­ing which the elec­tion tri­bunals have started their work.All ef­forts are be­ing made to en­sure fair and trans­par­ent polls. Neu­tral care­taker set-ups are in place both at the cen­tre and in the prov­inces The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan last week ap­proved a mas­sive ad­min­is­tra­tive reshuf­fle in Pun­jab, Sindh and Balochis­tan in what has been de­scribed as a move to en­sure trans­par­ent elec­tions next month.

An im­por­tant side­light of the po­lit­i­cal brouhaha across Pak­istan has been the re­volt by the rank and file of var­i­ous par­ties against the award of tick­ets by the party lead­er­ship. Although the prob­lem is com­mon to all ma­jor par­ties, it is more acute in the case of PTI which, ig­nor­ing its old lead­ers and work­ers, awarded party tick­ets for 173 NA seats and 390 PA seats to the so-called electa­bles, es­pe­cially those who joined the party in the last cou­ple of months. The pol­icy to favour new­com­ers has drawn a howl of protest from diehard PTI loy­al­ists.Although the PTI chair­man promised to per­son­ally look into the mat­ter to re­dress work­ers' griev­ances against un­just al­lo­ca­tion of tick­ets, the orig­i­nal award list stands largely un­changed. As a re­sult, a num­ber of ne­glected PTI can­di­dates have de­cided to con­test the forth­com­ing gen­eral elec­tions in their per­sonal ca­pac­ity as in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates. Sim­i­larly, some dis­grun­tled can­di­dates are also con­sid­er­ing the op­tion to join other po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

PML-N is in dire straits. With just a month away from the 2018 gen­eral elec­tion, the party has been hit hard by a ris­ing wave of de­fec­tions, with well-known names in the party jump­ing ship to join the Pak­istan Tehreek-e-In­saf.What started as a trickle fol­low­ing the Supreme Court's ver­dict against Nawaz Sharif last year be­came a flood early this year when a group of the party's sit­ting mem­bers of the Na­tional Assembly and the Pun­jab Assembly joined hands to form the Junoobi Pun­jab Suba Ma­haz to press for greater rights and the cre­ation of a new prov­ince for the peo­ple of south­ern Pun­jab. Ever since PML-N has been dis­in­te­grat­ing like a house of cards. PPP too is not in a very happy po­si­tion. In­creas­ingly, op­por­tunists and dis­grun­tled el­e­ments in­PPP have been join­ing PTI in the hope of im­prov­ing their po­lit­i­cal­prospects.

As things stand, PTI seems to be em­ploy­ing all pos­si­ble tools of re­alpoli­tik to win the elec­toral bat­tle against PML-Nin or­der to achieve its po­lit­i­cal goals. Con­sid­er­ing that the loss of PML-N is PTI's gain, Im­ran Khan is re­ly­ing is play­ing the zero-sum game with gusto. At the lat­est count, more than 45 electa­bles both from PML-N and PPP have joined PTI.As noted by many an­a­lysts, PTI has de­vi­ated from its orig­i­nal ideals and is pur­su­ing its po­lit­i­cal goal through­con­tra­dic­to­ryand con­flict­ing means. Its main slo­gan is for po­lit­i­cal change but is now re­sort­ing to the same very tools which sus­tain the sta­tus quo. Over time, PTI has changed course,swerv­ing from po­lit­i­cal ide­al­ism to po­lit­i­cal prag­ma­tism.

As of today, PML-N is a shadow of its former self and PTI is all set to emerge as the sin­gle largest party in the next elec­tions. In all prob­a­bil­ity, the next gov­ern­ment at the cen­tre will be a coali­tion one in which the lead­ing part­ner will be PTI. Who will join it will de­pend upon the rel­a­tive elec­toral strength of var­i­ous par­ties. A pos­si­ble com­bi­na­tion sug­gested by some po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts in­cludes MQM, PPP, PML-Q, mem­bers from FATA and, of course, in­de­pen­dents. But the fi­nal line-up will be de­ter­mined by the out­come of the next elec­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.