LAHORE: A prerequisite of democratic behavior is the acceptance of the mandate of the winning party. Absence of this essential ingredient creates a perpetual election campaign atmosphere, forcing the sitting government into measures of expediency. No government can perform under these conditions. It was exactly for this reason that the need was felt for having a charter of democracy.
Benazir Bhutto never accepted the result of an election that went against her. If a court decision was involved she would reject that also. She would start by: 1) Calling the elections rigged. 2) Clamouring for a national government. 3) Threatening a long march. 4) Asking the army to intervene. 5) Asking the US not to support the government (of Nawaz Sharif) and so on.
When her government was dismissed through the use of Article 58(2)(b), she demanded that the president use this clause against the Nawaz Sharif government also. She offered support to Nawaz Sharif if he went public against the president’s power to dismiss a government. Thereby, she succeeded in pitting the prime minister against the president, resulting in the eventual dismissal of the government.
In short, Benazir Bhutto used all the Machiavellian tricks of the trade and did not rest until she had brought down Nawaz Sharif each time. Can such behaviour be called democratic by any stretch of imagination? And why does the party that she left behind always claim to have democratic credentials?
Published in The Express Tribune, 25th, 2012.
More in LettersComplaint against PMDC