PML-N to refrain from pushing for early polls

Published: March 29, 2012
Party fears it won’t be able to muster support outside Punjab soon enough; hopes to let PPP, PTI run dry. PHOTO: REUTERS

Party fears it won’t be able to muster support outside Punjab soon enough; hopes to let PPP, PTI run dry. PHOTO: REUTERS


The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has decided not to push for parliamentary polls this year and let the government complete its term expnding in March 2013, hoping the delay will help the main opposition party gain significant electoral ground outside its Punjab stronghold.

“We have dropped the plan for seeking fresh elections in 2012 … this was our ambition until recently but not now,” a top PML-N leader told The Express Tribune on Wednesday, indicating a major shift in the opposition party’s strategy to approach the next polls.

Officially, a spokesperson for the party did not offer any direct comment for this change of heart.

On the other hand, PML-N Information Secretary Senator Mushahidullah Khan was not so willing to admit this change in strategy. “We still want [parliamentary elections] this year,” he said.

He did add immediately, however: “It doesn’t seem to be happening because of incomplete electoral lists and other operational problems.”

Several party officials confirmed to The Express Tribune that the decision of letting things roll ahead the way they are till March next year was the culmination of an intense in-house consultation with a circle of top party leaders.

PML-N President Nawaz Sharif, they added, wasn’t feeling confident enough at the stage to let his party make any hasty decisions while the margin for error was shrinking with each passing day.

“He (Nawaz), in fact both the Sharifs are shaky. They don’t seem to be ready to tackle such a huge challenge,” said a party insider, referring to elections.

Their worries, according to associates, emanated from the results of the last general elections in 2008 when the PML-N was restricted to central Punjab and failed to make any significant headway outside it.

“We don’t want to repeat that … at the moment it looks imminent,” said a leader, highlighting the lack of preparation of the party in provinces other than Punjab.

Calculated move

Besides legitimate worries, the decision is backed by other motives.

Nawaz and company, party insiders explained, had concluded that a delay in elections would not only give the PML-N ample time to seek electoral alliances with individuals and groups in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa but also hurt the current Pakistan Peoples Party regime.

“The longer the current rulers are in power, the more the chances that they will lose credibility,” said a party leader.

There is also one more challenge Nawaz and associates think will fizzle out with time: Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“The current wave of popularity Imran is riding on will not last for a year,” said the PML-N official, “The ill-timed hype created by Khan will exhaust his supporters to our advantage.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Mar 29, 2012 - 9:59AM

    Come Zardari come.


  • Abid Baloch
    Mar 29, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Noora Kushti – PMLn is getting its share of money in this game. So far they are content running show in Punjab. There is no opposition and it is all topi drama.


  • Imran Swati
    Mar 29, 2012 - 10:43AM

    Honestly speaking , I am not a pti worker but today I will say this too ” Main Sahab Jaan Dio Jaan Dio , Khan Sahab Ki Waari Aan Dio “.


  • Nadeem
    Mar 29, 2012 - 10:43AM

    My prediction of electoral results in 2013: PPP-115 seats PML(N)-110 seats PTI-20 seats MQM-20 seats ANP-12 seats and PML(Q)-20 seats. Next govt will again be formed by the existing coalition.


  • saeed
    Mar 29, 2012 - 10:47AM

    “The current wave of popularity Imran is riding on will not last for a year”
    Gone were the days Noon league…atleast in cities no one will win except PTI…no more samjhoota express of PPP and PML N..


  • Zoaib
    Mar 29, 2012 - 10:50AM

    Funny. They think everyone else will fizzle out except them. They’re forgetting the longer the Punjab government also stays, they’ll get discredited ALONG with PPP government in the centre, because both are failing at GOVERNANCE and people are fed up. So it might ultimately end up increasing the ranks of those joining PTI and might give them the support base they need to launch a massive street movement against both governments. What is PML-N going to do then? :)


  • Kaleem
    Mar 29, 2012 - 11:15AM

    Whats wrong if they are making strategy to not let PPP rule for another 5 years? Please any party but not PPP and its allies again.


  • Muhamamd Haris Tanoli
    Mar 29, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Good Decision taken by The PMLN BECAUSE the party has strong hold in Punjab not out side the Punjab so PMLN has to work hard to Take seats in SINDH,BALOCHISTAN and in KHYBER PUKHTOON KHUWA.If they go for early elections defanitely they will not take seat’s out side punjab or may loose more seats in they has to complete there Home Work for Elections.


  • Ali Tipu
    Mar 29, 2012 - 12:31PM

    They are the rulers of 63% of the country. And look what is happening in their own province. There is no electricity whatsoever, no water, no gas. Patients dying in government hospitals die to lack of treatments and fake medicines. Students committing suicides for their wrong results. The patwari and thana culture going havoc to an extent that Punjab has literally become a ‘police state. Still, they dont have anything else to do but to do noora khushti when in reality they perfectly are supporting the corrupt federal government. Can any Nooner convince me why should or any other person for that matter living in Punjab vote for these thugs, again?


  • rashid
    Mar 29, 2012 - 12:41PM

    things to come just before the next elections:

    electricity shortage reduced to minimum,
    large number of jobs given in Govt. sector,
    pay increments announced in coming budget,

    End result = PPP will win more seats than PML-n can ever imagine (by the way same threat applies to PTI too)


  • Beatle
    Mar 29, 2012 - 12:58PM

    You mean MQM will lose 5 NA seats in Karachi. Ger sense, man.


  • saeed
    Mar 29, 2012 - 1:05PM

    @Nadeem MY prediction for the next elections…PTI Clean sweep….Pakistani people are not animals…they have brain…they are humans…are you living on mars to say that PPP will get 115 seats…what happend to PPP in 1997 will happen again..for your information they got only 17 NA seats in 1997….the real battle is between PTI and PML N and who ever wins Punjab will from goverment in center…Punjab alone has 148 NA seats….and people like you will itch your eyes on the day of election results…


  • siddique
    Mar 29, 2012 - 1:13PM

    Sure IK is next PM.everywhere in PAKistan there is name of IK


  • anoni
    Mar 29, 2012 - 1:41PM


    Can’t agree more. These are old season politician that have lived with catering and manovring their generation. They forget that young generation that is less than 40 don’t like them any more and more will fall in line with PTI. I have only voted for PML-N but make no mistake that was the last time i voted for them.

    It will be too late by the time they will realize their mistake


  • Owais
    Mar 29, 2012 - 1:42PM

    They r hoping by prolonging the elections pti popularity will dry up. Thats the plan


  • MAD
    Mar 29, 2012 - 1:57PM

    Its game over for PMLN. now its time to end the misery. havnt they thought that by discrediting themselves they may lose even more seats than they hope to win now.PTI is focusing on Punjab and KPK and working on Balochistan. Sindh has pretty much been surrendered to PPP/ MQM.


  • Pr0udPakistani
    Mar 29, 2012 - 3:37PM

    No matter which technique PML-N uses to delay the election, this time they know in their hearts that their position is weak. People are sick and tired of their white lies and cheap schemes to gain popularity such as aashiyaana housing, danish schools and laptops for youths at the expense of taxpayer’s hard earned money.


  • Muddassir
    Mar 29, 2012 - 3:49PM

    Main Sahib dying to get on the driving seat of Samjhota Express…that’s all they care about!


  • Adam
    Mar 29, 2012 - 4:20PM

    My prediction of electoral results in 2013: PTI-86 seats PPP-72 seats PML(N) -58 seats, MMA-25 seats ANP-20 seats, MQM -17 seats and PML(Q)-15 seats. Next govt…will be everything to play for.


  • Sohail
    Mar 29, 2012 - 4:30PM

    hahaha … pmln is fighting the battle of its survival … best of luck …hahaha


  • Kashmirian
    Mar 29, 2012 - 6:25PM

    It is the time for Imran khan to start street protest to oust both PPP government at the centre and the PMLN at punjab and destroy their dreams once and for all. Mr. Skipper the time has come to take the two wickets on one ball. Recommend

  • Falcon
    Mar 29, 2012 - 6:27PM

    They are scared to death and will change their strategy 100 times before the next election…so it is less likely this news matters much…but what is indisputable is that they are seeing Immi bhai everywhere for sure ;)


  • wahab khan afridi
    Mar 29, 2012 - 6:49PM

    pml N will literally screwed them self up with this decission becoz they are in punjab Govt and PTI shud come up with a better strategy and one year is massive time so PTI shud delay the tsuanami for a bit and take it up after october or november that way again they will have perfect time for general election. moreover, PTI shud come more on Media now particularly IK him self and point out nawaz muk muka so shud his other party leaders particularly faisal and imran ismael. imran got this hype because of media and imran khan shud come on to the ground now with people protest. he can cash them and kick noora league about their dirty politics. IK shud visit more now to private universities because ISF is limited till govt universities that will also help them .God bless IK ,, noora league and zardari samjhota express murdabad


  • Azmat
    Mar 29, 2012 - 7:10PM

    PML-N dream to come into power is ended. Now PTI is next party to rule. “Samjhota Express” is on its route to darkness.


  • john smith from up west
    Mar 29, 2012 - 8:21PM

    pmnl fear. pti lol samjohta express wants to keep on running sooner or later you will run out of rail track then you will come off the rails crash and burn


  • Awais Ch
    Mar 29, 2012 - 10:49PM

    Oh my Goodness! people dying from inflation, lawlessness, hunger, load shedding, gas blah blah blah….. these hypocrites are still busy making castles in the air……. Remember Mian sb! as long as this government will loot the nation with both hands how could you think of gaining credibility, you will loose credibility with every passing day…. Leader is the one who can feel the sorrow & grief of his people…. GOD bless you IK, we are with you.


  • Rt.Wing
    Mar 30, 2012 - 9:55AM

    What kind of change any party can bring whether its PMLN or PTI. I am from Faisalabad and so called Sonami Party and PMLN, PPP all have same kind of front runners. Characters are not changed by choosing a party. Everyone is here to make fool. Honesty is shown by honest claims and unfortunately no Inqlaabi has it. No expectations from anyone but I must say Rt.Wing votes division will show the result shown by Nadeem that next 5 years for present regime.Recommend

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