Selection of candidates

THE Election Commission has once again revised the election schedule without disturbing the polling date, with the objective of facilitating political parties and candidates to fulfil additional requirements for filing of nomination papers especially the newly crafted affidavit and also to give more time to relevant agencies and departments to scrutinize credentials of the candidates on the basis of information provided by them. Meanwhile, the political parties are passing through the award of tickets for National and Provincial Assemblies sparking controversies in many areas among their ranks.
There is a general trend among political parties to award tickets to winnable candidates ignoring work and sacrifices of their loyalists. To give an example, PTI, which announced names of prospective parliamentary candidates, including 173 for NA seats and 293 for provincial assemblies, on Friday, gave 45% tickets to those who joined the party recently. These include those who ditched PPP and PML(N) in the recent past and joined PTI sensing that the party has better prospects of winning the general election. This has reportedly caused resentment and frustration among diehard workers who have been ignored at the altar of political expediencies. This practice is not confined to PTI and this election as we have witnessed similar trends and developments on the occasion of every election. Of course, politics and especially the election dynamics have been complicated because of various factors and the political parties have to adjust their priorities to improve the tally in the general election. Tickets are, therefore, mostly awarded to feudal lords, influential and winnable candidates in every constituency and there is hardly any regard for loyalty with the party, credentials of the candidate, their track record and morality. But it is because of this approach by all parties that one sees no major change or transformation in the system after every election as you can’t bring about revolution with the help of those who change their loyalties on every election. People who govern the country remain the same and there is change of only ruling party in elections. Therefore, Election-2018 is not going to be different.

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