Pakistan political parties are in limbo over election consensus – South Asia Time

Pakistan political parties are in limbo over election consensus

 May 4, 2023  

Islamabad— Pakistan’s political parties have failed to reach a consensus over a timeline for national and provincial elections, reported The Diplomat. The Supreme Court had expressed optimism that all major stakeholders would agree on a date to hold the polls, but after the parties’ failure to do so, the court conceded that it couldn’t force them to hold talks.

The root of this chaos is the military establishment’s historical hegemony, which has maintained its dominance by crippling other institutions. Despite opposition parties’ willingness to embrace the military’s unconstitutional manoeuvres, agreeing on an election date would be agreeing to reverse the military-dominated power dynamics of Pakistan.

Continued failure to agree upon a date means that in accordance with the Supreme Court’s earlier order, it would be incumbent on the state to hold the provincial elections on May 14 – at least in theory. The Supreme Court’s ruling comes a year after the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government was ousted in a no-confidence motion.

Pakistan’s dysfunctional governance over the past seven decades is now culminating in ambiguity over the most fundamental of democratic exercises: holding an election.