News Analysis |
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is celebrating the first anniversary of the 2018 win. On this day last year, the party was able to win the elections and form its government in KPK, Punjab, and center. Pakistan successfully held its third consecutive elections and democracy is said to be evolving in the country. However, the opposition political parties are still not happy over the results of the elections and have planned to hold public rallies to mark the day as a ‘black day’.
In a press release, PTI Central Secretary-General Amir Mehmood Kiyani stated that on July 25, the nation entrusted Mr. Khan with the responsibility to lead them and after a year of public service, the PTI is looking forward to commemorating the day as ‘Youm-i-Tashakkur’ (Thanksgiving Day).
According to media reports, the joint opposition will hold public meetings in all the provincial capitals — Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta — while a demonstration will be held in Islamabad.
The Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) expressed satisfaction over the July 25 election and overall process. The independent watchdog said the elections were free, fair and transparent.
Lahore’s public meeting will be presided over by PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, while PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz will address the meeting in Quetta. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will lead the public meeting in Karachi alongside PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will lead the public meeting in Peshawar along with PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that the JUI-F would observe a black day throughout the country at district level, adding: “The man roaming in the US has come into power as a result of fake elections.”
PTI’s Victory: An Unacceptable Political Development?
The PTI was able to win simple majority in KPK which whitewashed the MMA led by JUI-F chief. Similarly, PTI was in a position to form government in Punjab and center which created challenges for the mainstream parties of the status quo.
Read more: Elections 2018: A massive political exercise
Initially, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) complained that the results were deliberately delayed and form 45 was not given to their agents present during the counting of votes. But the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected such claims and said those who were losing the contest were willingly leaving the place of counting. The Presiding officers did not ask anyone to leave the office.
Fafen Expressed Satisfaction Over Election Process
Some analysts in Pakistan and international media have been focusing on Pakistan’s elections, terming it as the dirtiest elections in the history of Pakistan. But the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) expressed satisfaction over the July 25 election and overall process. The independent watchdog said the elections were free, fair and transparent. Although there were minor irregularities in the electoral process, yet the overall election was free and fair, and, hence, its results are “credible”, it added.
Since the vanquished political parties and politicians have started blaming the ECP for their defeat and termed the election as “massively rigged”, the ECP responded in a strong-worded presser: “Those who could not make their ways to the National Assembly of Pakistan have been urged to wait for their turn and respect the people’s mandate. It is against the basic principles of democracy if the ‘losers’ make an alliance and challenge the writ of the state. The ECP is an independent body which has been constitutionally empowered to hold elections without getting dictations from anybody.”
Experts believe that allegations without any substantial evidence against the ECP sully the sheen of Pakistan’s evolving democracy.