Can PDM force PTI govt to hold early elections? Absolutely not

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 01:08 PM, 12 Oct, 2021
Can PDM force PTI govt to hold early elections? Absolutely not
File photo.

Will the opposition parties be able to bring the PTI-led coalition under pressure to hold ‘immediate’ elections that otherwise are due to be held by the end of 2023? Absolutely not. 

There is not even the remotest possibility of this happening. Why? Because the situation is not favourable for the exercise. 

The Pakistan Democratic Movement was scheduled to meet in Islamabad on Monday (October 11) to take stock of the situation and map out a future course of action. However, the session had to be adjourned for a week because of the sudden death of a PML-N leader Pervaiz Malik. (His funeral prayers were offered in Lahore on October 12 after which he was laid to eternal rest). 

Now the PDM bigwigs will meet on October 18.  

It was also on October 11 that the alliance’s ‘impatient’ leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who has been out of job for the past three years after a long political career, said while talking to journalists that the PTI government got an extension not because of ‘us’ but because of some other reason.  

Though the Maulna did not identify the other reason it was a clear reference to the establishment. 

Superfluous to point out that in our country political parties are not in a position to bring down an establishment-backed government nor force it to hold early elections

There is another significant development on this front. 

The Election Commission of Pakistan has written a letter to the government urging it to hold early census – by December 2022. 

After census, the ECP says, it will require six months for fresh delimitations.  

Both these exercises are time-consuming which make it impossible for the government to spare time even to think about early polls. 

In such a situation the opposition parties should better prepare themselves well for next balloting, giving up their plans to destabilize the already a non-performing government. They should let the PTI government complete its mandated term so that it is left with no excuse for not delivering on its pre-election commitments.  

It will be a very good move if all parties identify their allies and rivals before time. 

It’s absolutely unfair for parties to make coalition with the very elements they had contested elections against. 

If ideology means anything – and it’s an important factor – no party should agree to join hands with rivals only to make up majority. Although this is an old practice and has been going on in many societies, it should be buried now in our country. 

The PML-N and PPP had done this in Punjab after the 2008 elections. This was nothing but opportunism. 

The PML-N had said on various occasions that it doesn’t need the PPP’s support; however, power hungry elements in the PPP did not quit Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet. 

It sounds unbelievable while recalling that Raja Riaz of Faisalabad (now a senior PTI leader) was the senior minister in that cabinet. 

It will also not be out of place to point out that even the incumbent PTI government is a combination of hetrogenous elements, having nothing in common.  

Before next elections political parties will also be doing a service to themselves as well the voters by identifying their candidates for the national and provincial seats. Such an exercise will make it easy for the candidates to prepare themselves and voters to judge who will be able to serve the constituency better. 

The three-year performance of the incumbent legislators should make it possible for their respective parties to see whether they should be given another opportunity or replaced by better ones.   

Delaying the matter to the last moment or picking candidates after the rival parties make their contestants names public leaves not much time for the ‘wrestlers’ to prepare themselves or the voters to choose a better person.