Election Watch Update - Feb 14

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf told Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Wednesday that he would write a letter to Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the leader of the opposition, about the caretaker government.

Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim says that the Supreme Court dismissing Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s petition on the formation of the Election Commission is proof of the trust it has vested in it, and validates the stand that the ECP was formed according to the Constitution. Major political parties – including the PML-Q and the PTI who supported Qadri’s stance – said they accepted the Supreme Court’s order.

The News takes a look at what politicians make of the powers given to ECP members.

The ECP has won support from the Federal Board of Revenue and the State Bank of Pakistan to help identify candidates who have evaded taxes, were beneficiaries of loans that were later written off, or have defaulted on utility bills and loans.  

Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari advised elected representatives to stay in touch with their constituents to win their support for the elections. Bilawal also said he would tour the Sargodha division in Punjab. 

Pakistan Muslim League-Functional leaders told US Ambassador Richard Olson about the issues the party has with the PPP in Sindh. The ambassador is scheduled to meet Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah today.

The Jamaat-e-Islami will contest elections with the support of disgraced scientist Dr AQ Khan’s new political party, the Tehrik-e-Tahaffuz-e-Pakistan. JI chief Syed Munawwar Hasan said that both parties had the same vision of an Islamic welfare state. Khan also met Nawaz Sharif to condole the death of his brother.

The Election Commission in Punjab has bought 100,000 new ballot boxes and is getting older ones repaired. The province will have 40, 810 polling stations.

Commentary:

Ikram Sehgal writes that the Supreme Court should have focused on the contents of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s petition, lashes out at politicians for being corrupt and questions if elections should be held just because they need to be, or should they be held according to the Constitution. – The News