- Clarity lacking
For one reason or the other General Election 2018 just refuses to come full circle. Now, two weeks after July 25, a possible crisis is building as ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan) finally notified the election’s final result but held back results of nine national assembly and 17 provincial assembly seats for a number of reasons that the press, and indeed the public at large, is still struggling with. Also, since PTI won four of the nine seats put on hold, its total tally in the lower house has now been reduced to 112; while that of its ally BAP (Balochistan Awami Party) is down from four to three.
Coming so late in the day these developments have, quite naturally, triggered another debate; about whether Imran will be able to form a government at the Centre after all. Needless to say that a combined opposition that has so far swung from complete boycott to serious opposition to now aiming for the PM position itself will leverage these events to the maximum. But not all has been going well within PTI either. Weeks after the election they are still, from the looks of things, still confused about their choices for the most important positions, in the provinces as well as the Centre.
And it is not looking quite so confident on the economic front anymore. Far from living up to the claim of putting everything right in the first 100 days – something that made voters decide in their favour – the finance minister-designate now feels any subsidy or relief in that timeframe would amount to giving the people a lollypop, whatever that means. Also, he says, he was simply misquoted by the local and international press alike when he detailed how everyone would have a job and a house in no time as the government went about handling the loans and deficit. Now it seems expats, empowered with debt instruments and equity options, will lead the turnaround that will make Pakistan prosperous again.
There is an urgent need to bring clarity not just to the election result, but also what the winning party is going to do now, and just how.