None But our President made Chief of Sindh Polls Campaign
Presidents, one would be given to believe, take care of things that tend to affect the health of the federation or matters that affect the nation as a whole. But our encumbered President has been tasked with leading the ruling party’s campaign for local government elections in the country’s second smallest province by size.
This is the first time in the history of the country that a sitting President will lead a local government election campaign. The role is a far cry from Mamnoon’s predecessors, who have abrogated governments, led the country into wars and even empowered women.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appointed President Mamnoon Hussain as the in-charge for devising the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) campaign strategy in Sindh LG polls.
The decision was made during a meeting of the party’s Sindh chapter at the PM House in Islamabad on Monday. The meeting had been co-chaired by Nawaz (PML-N president) and Mamnoon. All party office-bearers from Sindh attended the meeting.
In addition to appointing the country’s President as the point person to lead the party’s political campaign in the province, he was tasked with recommending candidates to contest the upcoming elections on behalf of the party.
As part of its push in Sindh, Nawaz has recommended that district-level committees should be formed in all 29 districts to screen candidates for the upcoming LG polls. The list of candidates finalized by these 29 committees will be sent to Mamnoon for final approval. In essence, the pall of any failure of the campaign’s strategy and/or candidates will hang on the President’s neck.
During the May 2013 elections, the PML-N managed to secure only three National Assembly seats (including one reserved seat for women) and just eight seats in the provincial assembly (including one reserved seat for women). It seems then that Mamnoon has his work cut out for him.
In addition to the obvious reasons for the surprise at Mamnoon’s appointment, the provincial leadership of PML-N has already quarreled before Nawaz over the President’s role in Sindh. Two weeks ago, the PM had chaired a meeting of PML-N Sindh leaders in Islamabad where factions led by Zain Ansari and PML-N Sindh chief Ismaeel Raho demanded that the PM restrict Mamnoon from intervening in the party’s political affairs.
Those who oppose Mamnoon had previously said that his point person, Chaudhry Tariq, was the main bone of contention for them. They claim that Tariq is in direct contact with potential candidates.
Sources in the party say that the PM had back then agreed to limit the President’s role. But on Monday, he not only invited Mamnoon to a political meeting of the party, but also appointed him in-charge of the party’s LG election campaign.
Sources added that participants of Monday’s meeting had been asked to refrain from commenting about Mamnoon, followed by the warning that speaking against the President would result in their expulsion from the meeting.
Party sources said that by inviting Mamnoon, the PML-N president gave a clear message to party leaders in the province.
Senior PML-N office bearer in Sindh Sarfraz Jatoi said that the decision of appointing Mamnoon was taken by Nawaz.
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