ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) will take the lead in nominating its candidates for the general elections but won’t make any announcement in haste.
The process of interviewing candidates will be completed before the 19th of this month. The final decision will be made by PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif, who will chair the PMLN Parliamentary Board’s meetings.
Announcements will be made in consultation with PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif and tickets will be awarded with his signatures.
Highly-placed sources told The News here on Tuesday that a full-fledged election campaign in the shape of public meetings, nomination of candidates, holding limited gatherings and launching of the party manifesto would be made immediately after announcement of the schedule for elections.
The sources said a 40-member manifesto committee under Senator Irfan Siddiqui had finalised the proposed manifesto, but Nawaz Sharif asked it to seek feedback from party workers before its formal launch. Their opinion would be solicited in a day or two.
The sources said Nawaz Sharif would fine-tune the manifesto and launch it with fanfare. The launching ceremony would also be the formal initiation of PMLN election campaign. It has been indicated that in certain constituencies of Punjab, a fierce contest for obtaining PMLN ticket has been seen during the initial days of the parliamentary board’s meetings.
Interestingly, the competition for provincial assembly tickets is more intense than for National Assembly tickets. But in a few constituencies, candidates aspiring for National Assembly tickets are proving more stubborn. Emotional scenes were witnessed in the board meetings when cases of some hotly-contested seats came under review.
The sources reminded that despite the contests, no constituency would be left “open” since in such an eventuality, the post-election situation would become complex. The PMLN leadership has decided that the winning combination of constituencies and districts wouldn’t be disturbed. In the constituencies where the board finds it difficult to make decisions immediately, committees have been formed and tasked with sorting out disputes. The committees would submit their reports in two to three days to the board.
The sources indicated that ever since the PMLN formed an alliance with major groups in Sindh, workload on the board increased. The PMLN is keen to capture Sindh this time and is working out a list of alliance candidates meticulously to get the best results. The alliance with the JUIF has made the situation somewhat promising for KP and Balochistan besides Punjab. Likewise, allies in Sindh have been tasked to furnish the framework for the contest in the province. The PMLN had sought an undertaking from all applicants for tickets along with their applications that in case they weren’t awarded tickets, they wouldn’t contest the election independently and keep working for the success of party ticketholder.