The incumbent ruling coalition is unlikely to gel as an electoral alliance for the upcoming parliamentary election as three of the coalition partners are unwilling for such an arrangement.
The Awami National Party (ANP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have said they would not form an electoral alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) is the only party in the ruling coalition that has showed willingness for ‘seat adjustment’ with the PPP.
But the party, which is already facing fragmentation, is highly unlikely to maintain its size and clout as some of its senior leaders have been lured away by rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
This situation, political analysts believe, can benefit the PML-N which is wooing right-wing and ethnic parties for what is being dubbed a broad-based electoral alliance.
PPP leader Raja Riaz said President Zardari wanted to take all his allies along for the election.
The president, however, is looking for seat adjustment with all partners in the incumbent ruling coalition and Baloch nationalist parties.
“Our party introduced the culture of tolerance and accommodation in politics. So, it is natural that we want our allies to be with us at all levels and times,” said Riaz, who is the leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly.
Asked if President Zardari would formally invite the MQM, ANP and Baloch nationalists for an electoral alliance, he said, “Yes, indeed. We will love to have seat adjustment with our partners wherever possible.”
But the MQM and ANP appear hardly interested in an electoral alliance with the PPP.
“Not at all, the MQM has a principled stance that it goes into election singlehandedly and enters Parliament with its own mandate,” said senior party leader Wasey Jalil, ruling out an alliance with the PPP.
“Our party will not ponder even seat adjustment [with any other party],” Jalil said when asked if the MQM would consider if the PPP makes an offer.
The ANP is also not pretty sure if it can go along with the PPP as an election ally.
“It’s unlikely we’ll go for an election alliance,” said Senator Haji Adeel of the ANP, which is currently ruling Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in alliance with the PPP.
Both Jalil and Adeel, however, quelled speculation that their parties are opposed to an electoral alliance because of their rivalry in Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.