As the polls draw nearer, PTI dissidents are seeking tickets from other parties to contest the general elections.
In the February polls, former PTI members are set to break all manner of previous records as far as contesting elections on the tickets of other political parties is concerned. The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) is on the top of the list as far as facilitating the PTI’s dissenters is concerned; other disgruntled members will undoubtedly find refuge in the fold of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party and the Istehqam-e-Pakistan Party, an independent survey conducted by The Friday Times revealed.
The disgruntled within the PTI’s ranks emerged across the political landscape when the Pakistan Democratic Alliance coalition planned a move against former PM Imran Khan in 2020, accusing his regime of poor governance and mismanagement in the economy and foreign policy.
It was the first successful no-confidence motion against any Prime Minister in the country’s political history.
Around a month before the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan was voted on, a group of nearly thirty members openly started expressing their concerns over their own party’s leadership. Later, this group did not choose to resign, even as other PTI MNAs resigned en-masse after the ouster of Imran Khan as Prime Minister. These lawmakers also remained part of the Parliament till the dissolution of the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly.
Now, after the delimitation of constituencies and the allocation of funds for the general election, the political parties have started formally awarding party tickets, conducting interviews-cum-meetings with aspirants to contest the polls.
Mainstream political parties, senior leaders in many parties have shared, have started district-wise and division-wise tickets to candidates. The main focus of the mainstream parties is to keep the electables in their fold, and also pick suitable candidates where two or more members from one constituency are wrangling to be awarded tickets.
The PTI’s dissidents all over the country will mainly be accommodated in the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). Many senior members, seeking not to be named, said that former opposition leader Raja Riaz Ahmed, Basit Sultan, Rana Qasim Noon, Amjad Farooq Khosa, Noor Alam, Khwaja Sheraz and others will get tickets from other parties to contest the general election. Most of the PTI’s dissidents from Punjab will be accommodated in the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) as per reports.
Talking to The Friday Times, PML-N’s senior politician Riaz Hussain Pirzada said that a large number of party members will hold a meeting with party supremo Nawaz Sharif this week. The consultation over the award of tickets in the party is under way and soon a final announcement will be made in this regard.
The residents of PTI dissidents’ constituencies, according to a survey conducted in multiple areas, revealed that former MPAs/MNAs have kickstarted their political campaign and are vocally instructing their voters to support the PML-N in the February polls. Candidates from KP and Sindh, who contested the last elections on the PTI’s ticket, have yet to reveal their course of action for the upcoming election.