Distracted: Tripartite coalition’s energy wanes as LG poll date remains undecided

Insider says intra-party polls became ANP and JUI-F’s focus instead.

Baseer Qalandar July 13, 2014

PESHAWAR: The activities of the tripartite alliance formed by opposition parties in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) for participation in the local government (LG) elections have been put on hold for the past two months, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The alliance was made by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Awami National Party (ANP) in January this year to contest LG polls from the same forum so as to present a challenge to the ruling parties.

Requesting anonymity, an ANP leader told The Express Tribune on Sunday the alliance’s leadership is likely to change because intra-party elections are going to be held by both ANP and JUI-F.

“For the past two months not a single meeting has been held by the alliance leaders,” he added.

The union was formed in January, he said, since the ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, had been announcing time and again that the polls would be held soon.

“Because the provincial government is taking so long to actually hold LG elections, the alliance’s activities have fallen behind and enthusiasm has dampened.” He added intra-party polls have become the focus of ANP and JUI-F; their attention to the alliance has waned.

A meeting needs to be held soon to make the tripartite coalition functional again, said the ANP insider.

“According to the formula decided by the alliance, the provincial general secretaries of PPP, ANP and JUI-F were supposed to get together and figure out future strategy but that never happened,” he said.

Meanwhile, JUI-F’s newly-elected provincial general secretary Maulana Shujaul Mulk told The Express Tribune intra-party elections have been completed and the newly-anointed leaders have been directed to work with the LG poll allies.

Other sources within the ANP claim the provincial government’s non-serious approach towards the LG elections has lowered the spirit of the ANP, PPP, JUI-F grouping, throwing a wrench in their plans.

Earlier this year, a meeting of representatives from all three parties was held, in which ANP’s Mian Iftikhar Hussain, JUI-F Senator Ghulam Ali and PPP’s Najmuddin Khan were nominated as chairman, vice-chairman and general secretary of the tripartite alliance, on a monthly rotation basis.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2014.


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