PTI’s March & Press conferences
LIKE the West, our intelligence has spoken publicly. Muller (FBI head) held a press conference against the sitting President ( Donald Trump) on the Russia investigation (2 May 2019).
Politicians speak for the public and institutions should stand for the state not governments or PMs of the day.
Executive is accountable to the state under ministers code and public trust (7 principles of public life, UK Govt.Boris Johnson removed for lying).
Ministers have to resign if they politicize civil service, undermine civil service code and do corruption.
The PM has to respect the rights of institutions for having a credible system of check and balance.
As citizens of the state, the PM (and his cabinet) is accountable to law. PTI should be free to hold a long march. All obstacles and forces can be removed and kept in reserve.
Foul play can be avoided with technology, liaison and cooperation. PTI’s conduct should preserve freedom of speech, right to protest and public interests.
PTI can arrange meena bazaar style stalls for protestors in allocated areas to voice their opinions on air as the MQM (then Mohajir Qaumi Movement) did in the 1980s).
They can even burn matchbox- size tires or smash model cars or windows. Unlike draconian anti-protest laws of UK, US and Europe, Pakistan can upgrade traditional Hyde Park protesting to 21st century with (social) media.
Today the message matters not the (burning) background. This strategy will not only preserve life, property and freedom but also democratize protest by letting a large number of actual protestors speak their minds.
It will end the monopoly of party leaders and their cronies who use masses as a pressure tactic to make midnight deals behind closed doors.
Imran is bringing the public to Islamabad to get (early) elections through backdoor negotiations in exchange for legitimizing corruption.
All political parties will give themselves NRO. PDM is clearing its corruption cases publicly with NAB reforms while PTI is benefitting privately by boycotting parliament.
PTI can always return to parliament to reverse NAB laws and get early elections. PDM wants to hold them in October 2023.
It has brought all eyes on the judiciary for the future of democracy. In the UK, the opposition is also demanding a general election by staying in parliament instead of taking to the streets.
Tory governments have failed on the economy, cost of living and foreign policy despite being in government for 12 years.
The majority of voters want early elections but Tories maintain that party was voted into power not PM so they will complete the remaining term (2 years).
It is in violation of their election promise of scrapping the UK Fixed Term Act-2011 and overhauling the House of Lords (donations).
Similarly, PTI wanted to complete a five-year term. Pakistan, like the UK , has a parliamentary system.
The Tories defeated the opposition’s vote of no-confidence against Boris Johnson but they removed him with the 1922 Committee having powers to change party leader.
The Committee then replaced Truss with Sunak. No one but Imran is responsible for losing PTI’s government because he failed to bring a new PM from his party or cobble up a PDM like alliance to win a vote of no confidence.
He can always return to parliament to even the score instead of acting as a crybaby. Imran wants free, fair and transparent elections.
Here are some of the laws passed by the US Congress to hold credible elections:
(i) Use paper ballots to protect the vote (rejected EVMs).
(ii) Election Result will be accepted to end the repeat of Jan 6.
(iii) Made polling station vigilantes illegal.
The success of PTI was illegal at all polling stations in the last by-elections because they used vigilantes. ECP needs to bring following laws on its own under the logic of conflict of interest.
Let parliament go to courts:
(i) all political parties should have UK Tory party like the 1922 Committee that changed three PMs recently.
(ii) There should be a credible framework to oust a PM from within the party, through vote of no-confidence and President (58 2b).
(iii) The President should be from another party.
(iv) The political parties’ leaderships should have the same level of check and balance from their members, which are the hallmark of true parliamentary democracy. Members can also show cause their leader in democracy
(v) Remove PM if his family interferes in official matters and the PM tries to get jobs for others (Boris Johnson was removed he tried to get a job for his wife in foreign office and she tried to influence PM’s staff posting).
Presidential candidate in France lost his leadership contest for hiring his wife and facing jail time.
Sarkozy is facing criminal charges of election funding. Trump is facing law for tax returns, election funding.
Pakistan needs laws against populism. Politicians have destroyed American democracy. Republicans used the Supreme Court to block state courts to protect election results.
They are blocking the census. US Supreme Court backs Black voters challenging Georgia election rules (20 Aug 2022, the Guardian).
Ruling of the US Supreme Court is not enough. The right wants to amend the constitution (19 Sept 2022, the Guardian).
Democrats’ midterms hurdle: Americans are getting used to eroded democracy (24 Oct 2022, the Guardian).
—The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad.