Background interview with PPP leaders suggest that barring a few who were ultimately declared as winners, no body else in the party had the slightest idea of any party elections taking place. Surprisingly, all candidates returned unopposed since their opponents withdrew their nomination papers at the eleventh hour.
“No one within the party had any knowledge about the date of filing nomination papers, their scrutiny and even the election date. The whole process was completed secretly until the final announcement about the new office-bearers,” an old PPP guard commented on the development seeking anonymity.
When contacted to have PPPP’s version, a senior party leader and newly-elected General Sectary of PPPP, Sindh chapter, Senator (R) Taj Haider insisted that a proper procedure was followed in the conduct of intra-party polls.
Giving details, Haider said that last date for filing of nomination papers was January 15 and three days had been fixed for their scrutiny. The election took place on January 25 and since all other candidates withdrew their papers, the main contestants were declared successful, he maintained.
When asked about the authority which conducted these polls, Haider said that Election Commission comprising Farooq H Naik, Farhatullah Babar and Fauzia Habib supervised the electoral process.
Asked why only a few party members had the knowledge of intra-party polls taking place, Haider replied that unlike the PPP, the main party, the PPPP had a very small party structure and all office-bearers were in the knowledge of the electoral process.
The PPP leader also complained that media was only making the PPP a subject of criticism regarding the intra-polls while sparing other political parties.
Expressing dismay over the manner in which polls were conducted, another PPP leader from Punjab told this scribe that during the days of Benazir Bhutto party elections used to be a regular feature conducted after every two years. “Party’s Central Executive Committee and the Federal Council used to sit and elect the new office-bearers,” he informed, adding that a resolution was also passed expressing confidence in BB’s leadership in an open House.
Meanwhile, after the intra-party polls of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), a discussion has started within the party ranks that newly-elected office-bearers cease to be the office-bearers of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
A senior PPP leader told TheNation that according to the party constitution, a member of the PPP could not hold any office or keep membership of any other political party, and if he does so, he would lose his office in the parent party.
The PPP leader, who did not want to be named, insisted that PPPP and PPP were two different political entities headed by different persons at all levels. One of them, the PPPP, was registered with the Election Commission whereas the PPP was not even a registered political party, he said.
According to him, the newly-elected office-bearers including Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Qaim Ali Shah, Taj Haider, Salim Saifullah Khan and Sadiq Imrani had lost their membership of the PPP after becoming the office-bearers of another party.