Presidential elections brought criticism for both the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N). While some objected to the rescheduling of the elections, others criticised the largest opposition party’s decision to boycott the vote.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, however, held the Election Commission and Supreme Court responsible for the chaos which forced one of the biggest political parties in the country to stay out of the presidential election.
“Institutions concerned should work towards making elections free, fair and transparent at all levels. Both the Supreme Court and ECP are responsible for recent elections’ controversy,” said Imran Khan. He said these two institutions should be blamed for the rigging that took place during the May 11 general elections.
“It is acknowledged by almost all parties as one of the most rigged and unfair elections in the country’s history. Judicial officers in returning officers’ role remained the most controversial in general elections,” said the PTI chief. Imran promised that his party would soon bring out a white paper on the parliamentary elections.
Regarding PML-N’s recent alliance with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Imran said, “N-League fell in love with MQM over this presidential election”. He added that Nawaz Shairf had forgotten the commitments he had made about MQM in the Charter of Democracy, signed between Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.
Imran also spoke of plans to establish an intelligence network in K-P and introduce police reforms.
PTI’s President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi speaking to reporters outside parliament house said that PPP’s boycott did not make the elections contentious. However, it would definitely hurt PML-N and its politics.
Hashmi said it was not that Mamnoon Hussain was a bad choice.“It was about the election process that PML-N did not bother to make democratic. The ruling party should have tried to convince PPP into participating in the elections,” said Hashmi.
The PTI president said he personally knew Hussain, who was a gentleman. “It was I who first brought Mamnoon into active politics in Sindh when I suggested his name to the party leadership for party’s Sindh chapter offices,” said Hashmi. “Mamnoon will make a good president.”
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) meanwhile maintained that the party wished that the elections would have been all-inclusive. “We wanted that the recent controversy over elections to be resolved quickly so that all parties could participate in it,” said MQM’s parliamentary leader Farooq Sattar.
He said his party, sitting in the opposition, would continue to criticise PML-N over its bad decisions while it would support and appreciate the ruling party’s people-friendly policies and actions.
Messages of felicitation
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated Mamnoon Hussain on getting elected as president.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain also extended his wishes expressing hope that the new president would play his part in strengthening democracy, eliminating terrorism, and solving the issues of the people. Altaf also paid tribute to outgoing president Asif Ali Zardari for ensuring peaceful and democratic presidential elections. Hussain would assume charge of office on September 9, after the completion of President Zardari’s five-year term.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.