News Analysis |
Elections are meant to serve multiple purposes. Provision of popular legitimacy to the newly-appointed government, a right of people to give their verdict about the performance of the previous government and a way to strengthen democracy are a few to mention here. In Pakistan, elections are going to be held on July 25. According to media reports, political parties were initially passionate to mobilize their people and campaign for the election. But setbacks to political parties at the micro level and a killing wave of terrorism have substantially changed the course of electioneering in Pakistan.
Panama Papers, disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and his recent arrest apart from PML-N’s miserable performance have substantially decreased the party’s support in Punjab, particularly in South Punjab.
More importantly, mainstream political parties (PML-N and PPP) are now accusing the state institutions of pre-poll rigging in order to set a stage for PTI. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently stated that efforts were being made to form a puppet Islami Jamhoori Ittihad (IJI) to defeat PPP.
The history of PPP with Islami Jamhoori Ittehad
IJI was an alliance of right-wing conservative parties in Pakistan. It was formed in 1988 to oppose PPP in elections that year. The alliance comprised nine parties, of which the major components were the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), National People’s Party (NPP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), with PML accounting for 80% of the IJI’s electoral candidates. Nawaz Sharif led the alliance and after winning, majority seats from Punjab became the Chief Minister of the province. It is important to mention here that the IJI was created with the help of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI. The then-head of the agency confessed to what he had done. IJI had served as a powerhead start for Nawaz Sharif to establish his political dominance and career by defeating PPP.
Bilawal, particularly bashed PTI, for failing to attract masses and allegedly relying on ‘other’ sources to become Prime Minister. “If Imran was as popular as he thinks he is, he would not have to employ tactics to win the elections,” Bilawal said.
Speaking about his policies Bilawal said that he will focus on people-friendly policies over country politics adding that he is against banned political parties contesting elections.
When asked about PPP’s manifesto, Bilawal said, it was different than the one presented by the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and PTI, as PPP has focused more on economic policies of the country.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently stated that efforts were being made to form a puppet Islami Jamhoori Ittihad (IJI) to defeat PPP.
As a matter of fact, PPP is almost non-existent in Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab. Some analysts suggest that the party has no future in Punjab where PML-N and PTI are two main political parties and known rivals. But due to defections in the PML, electable have made PTI more dominant and hopeful about the future. Panama Papers, disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and his recent arrest apart from PML-N’s miserable performance have substantially decreased the party’s support in Punjab, particularly in South Punjab.
Attempts to make the upcoming general elections controversial?
Read more: MQM and PTI are terrorists: Bilawal
Political commentators in Pakistan fear that efforts are being made to make the upcoming general elections controversial so that any party elected into power may suffer from legitimacy crisis. Senior anchorperson Dr. Moeed Pirzada has made a similar observation a few days ago and said “do you sense that a deliberate, well-orchestrated, well-funded “Regional & International Script” is in place to make the coming Elections difficult, troubling & controversial denying credibility & legitimacy to the next incoming Government?”
Latest comments made by PPP Chairman clarify the party’s position about the general elections being held on 25th July. If the elections are deliberately made controversial, the party voted into power will not be able to perform well due to structural constraints. Popular legitimacy is key for the government to perform outclass in any democracy.