Post-elec­tion sce­nario

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Op­po­si­tion par­ties have joined hands to protest against what they call ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the just con­cluded gen­eral elec­tions.There are loud cries of rig­ging, pre-poll as well as post-poll. PTI has won in Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa by a big mar­gin. PTI is also in a strong po­si­tion to form the govern­ments at the Cen­tre and in Pun­jab with the help of some smaller par­ties and the in­de­pen­dents. In­di­ca­tions are that it will also be part of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment likely to be led by the re­cently formed Balochis­tan Awami Party (BAP) in Balochis­tan.

While Im­ran Khan and the PTI ap­pear to be in a dom­i­nant po­si­tion,a grand op­po­si­tion al­liance ap­pears to be tak­ing shape to en­ter par­lia­ment and give the PTI a tough time in­side the As­sem­blies and out­side. Four par­ties met in Is­lam­abad a few daysago and agreed to join hands to chal­lenge PTI's supremacy. These par­ties are the PMLN, PPP, MMA and ANP. Af­ter talks with Hasil Bizenjo, the Na­tional Party (NP) has also agreed to join the new group­ing. Join­ing the op­po­si­tion band­wag­o­nis Maulana Fa­zlur Rehman of JUI-F, who has ex­pressed dis­may over los­ing in his home con­stituency in D I Khan. How­ever, his sug­ges­tion to boy­cott par­lia­ment and take to the streets in protest against the rigged elec­tion was not ac­cepted by the other par­ties. On the con­trary, they have asked the Maulana to re­frain from ag­i­ta­tional pol­i­tics and i use par­lia­ment to carry on their strug­gle.

The al­liance also in­tends to ap­proach some par­ties in Balochis­tan for the pur­pose of coun­try­wide protest. They also in­tend to hold an­other All Par­ties Con­fer­ence af­ter the one Maulana Fa­zlur Rehman called the other day failed to per­suade the PPP and some smaller par­ties to at­tend, al­though Shah­baz Sharif rep­re­sented the PML-N there. This sec­ond All Par­ties Con­fer­ence is ex­pected to is­sue a 'White Pa­per' de­tail­ing the al­leged rig­ging be­fore and af­ter the vot­ing had ended. At the same time, the op­po­si­tion par­ties have con­demned curbs on the me­dia and free­dom of ex­pres­sion on the so­cial me­dia.

The po­lit­i­cal wa­ters are mud­died and the con­fu­sion is get­ting worse con­founded due to the ba­bel of con­trast­ing voices in the op­po­si­tion camp. Among other things, the op­po­si­tion has al­leged that the elec­tion has ex­posed the es­tab­lish­ment as be­ing on the side of PTI. But to back its charge it has not yet fur­nished any con­crete ev­i­dence. The de­mand for in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged 'ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties' through a ju­di­cial com­mis­sion fol­lowed the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan's neg­a­tive re­sponse to the charges of mis­man­age­ment. The ECP has also re­jected the de­mands for the Chief Elec­tion Com­mis­sioner and the whole ECP to step down. The op­po­si­tion al­ter­na­tively en­vis­ages a par­lia­men­tary com­mis­sion to probe the elec­tion. It is too early to say whether any of these de­mands will be ful­filled, since the task of col­lect­ing the needed num­ber of votes at the Cen­tre and in Pun­jab is yet to be com­pleted.

It seems that if the op­po­si­tion's de­mands for an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion are not ac­ceded to, they have de­cided to first ex­haust the re­dres­sal pro­ce­dure al­lowed by ap­peal to the ECP, elec­tion tri­bunals and then the courts. Mean­while, they in­tend to make life dif­fi­cult for the PTI-led govern­ments at the Cen­tre and in prov­inces. So far the op­po­si­tion has shown ma­tu­rity and de­cided to adopt law­ful and demo­cratic means to strive for their ob­jec­tives. What­ever fol­lows in the com­ing days, all par­ties should re­mem­ber that the na­tional in­ter­est is supreme and no harm should come to democ­racy.

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