Election Watch Update - Mar 11

The Election Commission of Pakistan is hopeful that President Asif Ali Zardari will approve changes to nomination forms, which Law Minister Farooq H. Naek has reportedly disagreed to.

PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah says elections will be held by May 9.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will announce its election manifesto on March 23, at a planned rally at the Minar-e-Pakistan monument in Lahore. The party has already released policies on education, the economy, the energy sector and local government structures.

The News analyses how the Shia group, the Majlis Wahdat-al-Muslimeen, and the anti-Shia, Deobandi Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat will be contesting elections in Karachi.

Dawn looks at the scenario in Lyari – a key constituency for the Pakistan Peoples Party in Karachi – and the disillusionment of old PPP loyalists over the influence of banned crime syndicate Peoples Amn Committee.

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Maqbool Ahmed Shaikh has joined the PPP. His brother Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh is secretary-general of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional.

Law experts say the caretaker prime minister nomination issue could end up in the Supreme Court if the prime minister and the opposition leader are unable to agree on a candidate.

Commentary:

Asif Ezdi says pre-elections rigging has already begun and terms the ECP’s work a disappointment. – The News

Hussain H. Zaidi notes that the PTI will prove to be the PPP’s ‘trump card’ for the elections, because the vote bank in Punjab will be split between the PTI and the PML-N. – The News