FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Why not call a snap election?
Posted:Aug 10, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Once again, governance is taking a back seat to politics. As Nawaz Sharif travels down the GT Road from Islamabad to Lahore, the PML-N, its leadership, the cabinet and the party’s parliamentarians appear to have only one thing on their minds: pleasing the PML-N boss by doing whatever they can to maximise the public turnout along his route to his Raiwind home. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has cut a lonely figure in Islamabad, seemingly left alone to steer the ship of government at a critical moment in the country’s history. Given the controversial circumstances in which Mr Sharif has been judicially ousted from the prime ministership, it is inevitable that the PML-N will seek to demonstrate support for its leader and his continuing popularity with the party’s electoral base. What is unnecessary, undesirable and faintly undemocratic is for the party in government at the centre and in Punjab to seemingly abandon all governance priorities to cheer on Mr Sharif.
 
The former prime minister is also wrong in how he has cast his journey to Lahore. Roadside gatherings, speeches in city centres and slow-moving convoys are not the people’s court or the people’s verdict. The only people’s court is a general election. That option is within easy reach of Mr Sharif and the PML-N. The party commands a majority in the National Assembly and has the right to seek the dissolution of parliament and an early election. At the moment, Mr Sharif appears to want to have his cake and eat it too. He wants the PML-N to complete the parliamentary term as the governing party while at the same time acting as an opposition party outside parliament and in the streets of Punjab. Perhaps that is to the party’s political advantage, but what is good for the PML-N is not always good for the country. Two governments, in Islamabad and in Lahore, that are effectively paralysed because Mr Sharif wants a big political show to mark his return to Lahore is sending the wrong message. Federal ministers, some with new portfolios, others new altogether, desperately trying to impress their political boss with theatrics and gaudy roadshows is sending the wrong message. A ruling party that is in politics-only mode is sending the wrong message.
 
An alternative, and more sensible, approach by the PML-N would have been to set up a political committee to manage Mr Sharif’s return to Lahore and wall it off from the federal cabinet and provincial government. A federal cabinet diligently serving in Islamabad and a provincial government hard at work on the people’s affairs in Lahore while Mr Sharif travelled through the PML-N’s political heartland was administratively possible, politically manageable and democratically acceptable. If the PML-N is happy to let politics eclipse the demands of governance, then it should go all the way and call a snap election. Enough of this political circus. 
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has confirmed his presence for the occasion. In an exclusive interview with INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS, Indonesia’s Ambassador to India, Sidharto R.Suryodipuro, reminded Nilova Roy Chaudhury that the first Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations, in 1950, w
 
read-more
The words of Ho Chi Minh  “Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty” rang true for the people of the erstwhile East Pakistan when, with increasing brutality, the West Pakistani oppression spread across the land, writes Anwar A Khan from Dhaka
 
read-more
In a significant boost to New Delhi's Act East Policy, India and Japan set up the Act East Forum on Tuesday as agreed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India this year for the annual bilateral meeting that would help to focus and catalyse development in India's Northeast.
 
read-more
  United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated on Friday Washington's warning that “all options are on the table” to meet North Korea's nuclear threat while offering to keep the lines of communication with Pyongyang open.
 
read-more
The 15th trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China concluded in New Delhi on Monday with many nuanced takeaways embedded in the joint statement of 46 paragraphs. Reiterating that the forum “is not directed against any other country”, the statement underlined the importance of the establishment o
 
read-more
The first thing that one sees when a flight approaches New Delhi is thick smog that envelopes the city and its lack of greenery.  In almost all other major cities of India lack of greenery is the most obvious sight that one sees when approaching it by air.
 
read-more

Pakistan has agreed to allow the rupee to depreciate after holding talks with the International Mone­tary Fund (IMF) on the country's economy.

 
read-more

Two major global changes in the past year; the ‘Brexit’ referendum and the advent of Donald Trump, writes Sandeep Kaur Bhatia

 
read-more

It is also imperative for India to explore other regions for markets. Its trade deficit with Latin America has been narrowing. Also, its trade with Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala has increased, ...

 
read-more
Column-image

Over the last 25 years, India's explosive economic growth has vaulted it into the ranks of the world's emerging major powers. Long plagued by endemic poverty, until the 1990s the Indian economy was also hamstrung by a burdensome regulat...

 
Column-image

Title: A Ticket to Syria; Author: Shirish Thorat; Publisher: Bloomsbury India: Pages: 254; Price: Rs 399

 
Column-image

Gorichen, a majestic peak in the Eastern Himalayas at an altitude of 22,500 feet, is the highest in Arunachal Pradesh. Beautiful to look at and providing a fantastic view from the top, it is extremely tough climb for mountaineers.

 
Column-image

It is often conjectured if the reason for long-standing conflicts and insurgencies, in the developing world, especially South Asia, is not only other powers fishing in troubled waters but also the keenness of arms industries, mostly Western, to...

 
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699