A failed care-taker set-up and elections: AK Haq

by Tauqeer Abbas

Election, no elections, then election and now there is a caretaker government in the country. According to the constitution and custom, a caretaker government is brought in between two elected governments for day-to-day administration and election management.

Situation has changed several times in the few weeks since the current caretaker government came to power. First of all, according to the constitution, their job is only to conduct elections, but when the caretaker government came, there was an impression that the elections are now in Delhi. Within a couple of weeks, the situation has changed to such an extent that the re-election has started to look close.

The question is, how did the journey to election after no elections for so long? This journey had already started with the postponement of elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Although the reason for postponing the elections in both provinces was that it would be appropriate for the stability of the country to hold all the elections on the same day.

But when the constitutional boundaries started to be changed according to the situation, everyone knew that the matter will not stop until the postponement of the elections in the provinces. After that, amendments were made by the outgoing Assembly under which the powers of caretaker governments were extended from the traditional ones.

After that, the assembly was dissolved prematurely and a 90-day shutdown was also imposed. Constituencies were also justified by passing the most important census at the last minute.

There was such an element of mystery and surprise in the election of the caretaker prime minister that it gave the impression that this government is not for 90 days. The caretaker ministers also started mentioning far-reaching reforms after coming. Billions of dollars were being talked about and seemed to be going beyond March 2024.

At the same time, the long-term plan also started to show obstacles. The leadership of the People’s Party, which was approving in the meetings until a week before the government left, at first made a strong comment on the nomination of caretaker prime minister.

A lot of questions were also raised by the absence of the majority of people associated with the PML-N and the sympathizers of the People’s Party in the caretaker cabinet. Along with this, the insistence of the election in 90 days by the People’s Party also started.

The party, which was involved in all the initiatives that led to the election, soon became the claimant to hold the election on time. Among the remaining signs of this division, non-affiliation or non-integration with the father (party) and the appointment of high-ranking government officials in Sindh also appeared on the scene.

Political differences may have been managed, but no one was prepared for the reaction that came out as a result of the economic hardships of the people and successive price hikes. There is no way to recover the prices of electricity, oil and sugar. A dollar is not available even at Rs 325 and the stock market is going down steadily.

The confidence of the caretaker government also went down with the same speed. At present, no minister is present to reiterate the plans of the caretaker government. As the economic and public conditions in the country are changing, various indications are also coming out from the Election Commission.

The date of completion of constituencies has also been revealed by November 30 and with this, according to unconfirmed reports, the election may be announced on January 28. All these news have come out in the last 48 hours and along with it, once again the election activities have not started, but they have certainly started to be mentioned.

London has once again become the center of political activity and many leaders including Punjab and Sindh are seen meeting Mian Nawaz Sharif in London. Mian Nawaz Sharif’s return in October has been announced once again which corresponds to the proposed date of January-February. At this time i.e. today, the situation seems to be moving from the new election to the election.

The reasons for this are obvious. People’s protest is now turning into anger, only the elected government can deal with it. Politically too, for the old political parties, deviating from the constitutional ban will become a great political taunt.

The acceptance of the postponement of the election will not be less than a challenge in terms of international relations. The IMF’s tenure is coming to an end in a few months. The IMF’s proposed reforms are far-reaching and cross-cutting.

Legitimacy is in place but it is unlikely that they will embark on reforms for three or four years with a caretaker government. The question is also, if there was a plan to carry forward the election for an indefinite period, then for what objective conditions was it made?

At present, if we look at the situation on the ground, it seems that the matter is going towards the election again. The first way out of the economic and constitutional problems is in a free and fair election. Now we just have to see if there is no new stop after the new election and then the election.

Shafaqna Pakistan


Note; Shafaqna do not endorse the views expressed in the article 


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