Home News Analysis Nawaz claims that pre-poll rigging has already started

Nawaz claims that pre-poll rigging has already started

Nawaz claims that pre-poll rigging had initiated the day he was disqualified on July 28, 2017, and continued, when on February 21, he was ousted again as head of the PML-N.

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News Analysis |

Ousted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed on Wednesday that pre-electoral rigging has already started in the country ahead of the upcoming July 25 polls.

Nawaz was at the accountability court, where he attended the hearing of Avenfield reference against him and his family over corruption charges.

While speaking to the journalists outside the special court, former three-time PM said that “prior to general elections, there is always a debate regarding rigging and it has already started.”

Read more: Ahsan Iqbal accuses NAB of pre-poll rigging?

He claimed that pre-poll rigging had initiated the day he was disqualified on July 28, 2017, and continued, when on February 21, he was ousted again as head of the PML-N.

In a reply to a question, he said, Supreme Court’s decision to not allow the party to contest under its party’s banner on March 03 Senate Elections was questionable. He enquired, “Can you find an example, where the party which had distributed its tickets was not allowed to contest.”

Nawaz referred to the Supreme Court’s February 21 verdict where it declared all the decision taken by the party’s supreme leader after controversial amendment in Election Act 2017 as null and void.

On July 28, Supreme Court of Pakistan had ousted Nawaz Sharif as PM after the Panama revelations, which embroiled him into a scandal over his family’s unexplained wealth accumulated abroad, including apartments in London.

Nawaz referred to the Supreme Court’s February 21 verdict where it declared all the decision taken by the party’s supreme leader after controversial amendment in Election Act 2017 as null and void.

The unraveling of PML-N in Southern Punjab and countless cases in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and internal indifferences within the party had put the party on brink of existential crises. Though, it had managed to steer clear for now and is indulged in the political campaign across the country. But, threat of defeat still looms.

PTI may have shown some nerves in recent weeks. Ticket allocation on both national and provincial level is testing the party’s institutional strength. Nevertheless, chances of PTI’s dominance in Punjab still hang in the balance.

Read more: PML-N boasts completion of democratic tenure

PML-N wary of PTI’s challenge has been accusing the national institutions explicitly and at times indirectly of playing a part to defeat PML-N in the upcoming polls.

PML-N, in particular, has got itself into the habit of accusing the state institutions and political parties of pre-poll rigging.

When NAB Chairman, Javed Iqbal’s ordered to initiate an inquiry over the media reports which claimed that Nawaz laundered the $4.9 billion to the Indian finance ministry [resulting into increase in Indian foreign exchange reserves and decline in Pakistan reserves], PML-N termed it a pre-poll rigging.

While addressing the lower house Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi termed the allegations against Nawaz in the current circumstances were tantamount to pre-poll rigging.

Former Federal Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal had also accused NAB of pre-poll rigging because it was inactive in last four years but has suddenly become active only months before the 2018 general elections.

PML-N has accused NAB’s extraordinary measures against the ruling family as a pre-poll rigging.

Read more: Political parties cry foul amid Senate vote rigging allegations

Moreover, the inclusion of Janoobi Punjab Suba Mahaz in PTI was also termed pre-poll rigging. PML-N gave the impression that military establishment was instrumental in persuading defectors to ditch PML-N for PTI.

When PTI presented its 100-day agenda, even PPP’s former opposition leader Khursheed Shah claimed that PTI has no right to present a 100-day agenda and termed it a pre-poll rigging.

Defamation and pre-poll rigging are the popular reasons to ‘endorse publically’ on his mind. Their usage in the current political environment is perfect to gain credence and sympathy against NAB’s different investigations against House of Sharif and its much-favored bureaucrats.

When PTI presented its 100-day agenda, even PPP’s former opposition leader Khursheed Shah claimed that PTI has no right to present a 100-day agenda and termed it a pre-poll rigging.

In the end, it will be the successful policies and accomplishments of past promises which will play a crucial role in the re-election of legislators.

Nawaz is aware of upcoming political challenges given his extreme position against judiciary and security establishment. He is trying to reach out to voters by giving an impression that he is being victimized for not following the Army orders and his ousting was a conspiracy against the democratic traditions of the country.


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