Election Watch Update - Feb 24

Lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir, whose name was reportedly on a PML-N list for caretaker prime minister nominees, says she has no desire to take up the job. Jahangir’s possible nomination was opposed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and a number of religious-political parties.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has reportedly extended the deadline for verifying educational degrees after several legislators criticized the commission.

The Awami National Party says it will do seat adjustment deals with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. It will work similarly with all other political parties other than the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. The ANP and the MQM have had a hostile relationship, particularly in Karachi.

Disputes among PPP candidates in Muzaffargarh grew over the weekend as legislator Jamshed Dasti (NA-178 Muzaffargarh-III) announced a free bus service for Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s constituency (NA-177 Muzaffargarh-II). Dasti also said he would contest elections against Khar if the PPP did not field him from that seat. Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who is looking over PPP’s election efforts in Punjab, said he was disappointed at the move.

Syed Tasneem Nawaz Gardezi, who recently joined the PPP, wants his son to be given a party ticket for the Punjab Assembly from Bahawalpur (PP-273 Bahawalpur-VII). Dawn takes a look at the options for Gardezi to contest elections and previous winners.

PPP Sindh legislator Mir Hasan Khoso (PS-15 Jacobabad-III) quit the party on Saturday and joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional.

Reports have circulated in several newspapers that former finance minister Hafeez Shaikh will be made caretaker chief minister in Sindh, and that the PPP has spoken to other political parties in the province who have not objected to his nomination.

Commentary:

Asif Ezdi speculates on if President Asif Ali Zardari refuses to approve the new policies et al put into place by the Election Commission. – The News