Save the Punjab Assembly
As a result of the PML-N’s insistence that it wants to “save the Punjab Assembly at any cost,” there seems to be a perception among political circles that the party is “running away” from the Punjab elections.
To avoid appearing to be caving in to Imran Khan’s demands, the party claims it is making the decision in the best interests of the nation rather than according to personal or party inclinations.
‘Saving the Assembly at Any Cost’
In the situation where the Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi dissolves the assembly at the request of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, the Sharifs have reportedly been advised by well-wishers within the party to change their narrative of “saving Punjab Assembly at any cost” and adopt a more confident tone that demonstrates they are not afraid of running in elections.
These discussions within the party follow claims made by the PTI chairman and other party members that the PDM parties, particularly the PML-N, are reluctant to run in any elections, even by-elections, for fear of suffering a “loss” given that their support has significantly declined since April.
PML-N to Avoid Apologetic Narrative
A PML-N insider told on Wednesday that the Sharif family’s close aides had ordered the party to avoid the “apologetic” narrative, which meant that the party was trying to avoid the province’s elections.
This gives the impression that we are endorsing Imran Khan’s claim that the PML-N is hesitant to participate in elections because of his purportedly rising popularity.
“Not in Punjab, but at the Center, we are in government. Why should we be against the PA’s dissolution?” The insider was cited as saying to the Sharif family, “Instead, we should dare Imran to dissolve the assembly after which we will form a government here.”
Azma Bokhari, the PML-information N’s secretary for Punjab, said that the party intended to save the assembly for legal, economic, and law and order grounds.
Agreement By all Political Parties
“Imran Khan’s wishes cannot be used to govern the nation. Elections are held based on agreement by all political parties, not on a single person’s wish.”
She argued that no party could compel another to hold elections anywhere in the world.
According to the MPA, the Constitution explicitly stated that the assemblies should serve out their terms.
Local Body Elections
Elections being held separately in different assemblies is also not viable. Additionally, the ECP has stated that Punjab would hold local body elections in April.
The TTP’s termination of the ceasefire with the government, Pakistan’s economic predicament, and the post-flood situation were among the other urgent issues, according to Ms. Bokhari, that made the environment unfavourable for elections.
Electoral Commission Fired
It is important to note that the electoral commission fired its spokesperson, Haroon Shinwari, for declaring that elections would be held in 60 days if the Punjab and KP parliament were dissolved “without directives from the higher authorities.” The commission then declared that Punjab would hold local body elections in April.
In light of the PTI’s potential dissolution of the KP and Punjab assemblies, observers view this as a proactive move. They comment that the election body could use this as an excuse for not being able to hold both the local body election and the Punjab election at the same time.