PPP and PML(N) on CEC
Bad blood among the PPP and PML(N) stands in the way of the appointment of a consensus CEC. This could also create problems when it comes to the formation of the interim setup. While little has been done during the last four years to improve the lot of the common man, significant achievement has been recorded vis a vis the much needed constitutional reforms. This had aroused hopes that a foundation would now be laid for the improvement of the institutions. The reform of the Election Commission had given birth to expectations that this would put an end to the perennial accusations by the losing parties that elections had been rigged. The formula devised for the formation of the interim setup ensured that the team overseeing the conduct of the elections would be impartial. These positive developments were made possible by the cooperation between the government and opposition.
Confrontation between the two sides has considerably increased after the SC’s short verdict on the contempt case. Despite the apex court hesitating to order the removal of the Prime Minister, the PML(N) announced that it no more considered him the country’s legitimate chief executive. Ch Nisar Ali Khan refused to hold consultations with Gilani when the government proposed three names for a permanent CEC. As things stand the government is trying to get one of its nominees appointed while the PML(N) would like the acting CEC who is also a sitting judge of the SC to continue to retain the post. Justice Shakirullah Jan’s association with the EC would stand in his way of sitting on any SC bench. This would overburden the apex court which had sought to acquire three more judges on account of the pressure of work but could not get them on account of opposition from the PBC.
The shadow boxing between the PML(N) and PPP has to stop to make preparations for a peaceful transfer of power. Attempts by the PPP to have a CEC of its choice will further vitiate the atmosphere. The two sides should stop flexing muscles. Calls for marches and counter marches are fanning parochial sentiments. Unless the PPP and PML(N) resolve their differences through talks, holding peaceful elections may not remain possible. In case politicians fail to resolve their differences through parleys, they would be yielding their turf to non political forces.