Election Watch Update - Feb 17

After over four years of being a part of the federal and Sindh government, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement quit the government, citing the Pakistan Peoples Party’s alleged support for criminals among its reasons. 

The News takes a look at why President Asif Ali Zardari needs a base in Lahore and the PPP’s strategy in the Punjab province. Rahimullah Yusufzai analyses the NA-I constituency in Peshawar, providing a background on which parties have won the seat in the past and future contenders. Negotiations over a caretaker chief minister are set to begin between the government and opposition parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has withdrawn his demand that the Election Commission of Pakistan take 30 days to scrutinize candidates for the elections. Instead the government has agreed to extend the duration from 7 days to 14.

The ECP’s Political Finance Wing is set to start work in March. It will investigate the assets and liabilities of legislators in the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies.

Commentary:

Cyril Almeida questions why Tahir-ul-Qadri was ‘obsessed’ with the constitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan and possible outcomes of the campaign against the commission. – Dawn

Dr Farrukh Saleem writes about patronage-driven politics in Pakistan. – The News