Strong grass root support
Strong ethnic appeal
Love for the family, have the largest diehard followers among all parties
Presence in all Provinces
Strong Legacy of leaders
No leadership vacuum
Turn around perception through performance
Regain past position in Punjab
Clean up the old guards and bring in fresh blood with a zeal to perform
Bring active governance in Sind for the next two years
Consolidate Bilawal’s position
Zardari bring money from Swiss accounts into Pakistan, and clear his reputation – no big deal for him
Mend ways and shun past governance style, root out corruption from party and government in Sind
Aggressively reach out to masses in other provinces, who would be willing to give more chances to PPP, as opposed to any other party
Possible struggle leadership at the top most level
Relied too long on Bhutto name
Not performed, taken things for granted
Tainted reputation of Zardari
Regional organization not strong, consists of old guards, who have failed
Lost considerable ground in Punjab – The strong hold in the past
No performance under the belt.
Continue to protect Zardari and others, hence lose out more support
Zardari and other leaders are nailed for corruption
Lose ground in Sind due to bad governance, thus creating a vacuum for other parties to fill.
Become a marginal party rather than mainstream and a major party.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is the only political party in Pakistan that has the grass root support and, probably, the highest number of diehards. It is also the only major political party that has a successor for party leadership – Bilawal Bhutto. He is young and can mature as he goes along. With these factors, PPP is, probably, the only party in Pakistan that has a long term potential, as we see today. All PPP has to do is to improve its image that is tarnished by Zardari as a party that is extensively involved in corruption, and turn out performance. If PPP is successfully able to perform and improve image, then is in a good position to rule Pakistan for 20-25 years from 2025 onwards. By 2025, the party leader would also be in his forties and mature.
Having said that, the next elections may see PPP struggling to get more seats. May just be able to hold on to about 30-40 seats at the Center.
I am surprised at the so called educated and intelligent class of Pakistan, which includes lawyers politicians, professionals students, anchors, experts at their rhetoric on the poll rigging. I am even more concerned at their callousness and deceitfulness in misleading people of Pakistan in an attempt to dislodge the legitimate government.
Rigging can only take place either with negligence or with connivance of the Parties Representatives (PRs) at the polling booth. Let’s re-enact the polling day at a Polling Booth.
- It’s about 8 or so in the morning. The Polling Stations (PS) are open for the (PRs) and the Returning Officers (ROs) to settle in.
- Each PR is handed over the voters list
- The empty ballot boxes, which are also transparent, arrive. The empty boxes are shown to all PRs and sealed.
- The ballot papers are then unsealed and show to each PR to ensure that their party’s candidate name is there.
- The polling begins. Each voter proves his identity. All parties ensure his name is in the voters list. She/he votes and goes away with an ink mark on the thumb and a finger print on the ballot paper. The PRs object to any suspicious voter or those who cannot prove his or hers identity.
- At the official closing time the polling booths are closed for new voters and those already in the PS are allowed to vote.
- The counting begins immediately after the closing of the polling time.
- The votes are counted in front of party’s representative. Final tally is done for each contestant.
- The results are signed by all PAs.
- The returning officer takes the tally for final compilation at Election omission of Pakistan’s (ECP’s) designated office(s)
- The PRs do their own tally at their parties offices based on the results at each polling station.
The above substantially describes the polling process. It can be clearly seen that unless the all PRs collude with each other or are negligent, the rigging cannot take place in the polling booths. I believe, it is unlikely that poling agents of all contestants wre either negligent, or colluded to enable one candidate to win in election 2013
Now let’s step back and try and reason out Imran Khan’s main allegations:
- Ex-Chief Justice manufactured elections and instructed RO’s to change the results. There is no case, which point towards RO’s changing the results. How can they? For argument sake let’s accept the insinuation. This can be easily challenged and proven in the tribunal by presenting the tallying sheets signed by all party’s PRs at the Polling Booth. It is no rocket science. Why is this not done as the allegations continue? As per the cases handled by Election Tribunal, where there was a doubt, a recounting was done and a decision was given on the basis of facts.
- Ballot papers were printed in Urdu bazaar. Fine let’s accept they were, so what? Were these used to cast fake votes? All votes casted in the polling booths.
- Ballot boxes were replaced with new one with fake votes. Possible. This was done where and when and by whom? Is it the army who transported them or by ECP. The results tallies of the PA’s matched the ECP’s count, hence nullify this insinuation.
- Statement by Afzal Khan as the conclusive proof of rigging. Really does not hold any water. He timing, his demeanor etc., creates doubt on his credibility.
Though may be simplistic, the whole objective of this piece is to give us all a perspective of the election process, which most of the critiques don’t know, and arrive at an educated decision whether the rigging allegations are true or not. Allah has given us ability to assess and then make a judgement. Please step back and reflect. You may still reach the same conclusion, but then you would have thought it through.
My personal assessment is that the rigging was not done as claimed by PTI. FAFEN, UNDP and other Neutral Agencies have endorsed this view. Even the internal report of PTI says that PTI lost due to nominating wrong candidates & their own negligence.