PPP, PML-Q to revisit election accord
LAHORE, Nov 2: The PPP and PML-Q agreed on Friday to revist the seat-adjustment formula they had earlier worked out for coming elections and start finalising candidates for constituencies in Punjab.
Top PML-Q leaders — Chaudhry Shujaat Husain and Deputy Prime Minister Pervaiz Ealhi — did not attend the meeting held at the Governor’s House giving credence to reports that they are not willing to discuss the seat-adjustment formula with Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, the new president of Punjab PPP.
The Chaudhrys authorised MPA Moonis Elahi, son of Pervaiz Elahi, to head a five-member Q-League committee to hold talks with the PPP’s four-member team led by Mr Wattoo.
Senator Kamil Ali Aga, Basharat Raja, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, Nasir Gill and Amir Kalal are in the Q-League team members while federal ministers Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nazar Gondal and Imtiaz Safdar Warriach are assisting Mr Wattoo.
Sources said that PPP leaders were expecting the elder Chaudhrys to hold talks with them but they were told (by PML-Q) that they were not supposed to come here as they would talk to PPP leaders of their stature.
Though Mr Wattoo has already clarified that he had no issue with the PML-Q, the absence of the elder Chaudhrys indicates that Mr Wattoo still had to do a lot to allay their ‘misunderstanding’.
A source in the PPP said there had been a disagreement between the two parties over the existing seat-adjustment formula which says that the winner of a provincial and national assembly seat will have the first claim to it and in case of the PPP or PML-Q being runner-up in any constituency, the ticket for the seat in question will go to it.
“I think we should revise it under the current political scenario. As we both are going into the next election jointly it will be better to find ‘winning candidates’ on those seats where the PPP or Q-League remained runner up and even in a case where a winning candidate of PPP or PML-Q had defected to other parties we should look for a strong candidate instead of giving the ticket to a weak candidate of the winning party (PPP or PML-Q),” a participant of the meeting said. Most members agreed to the proposal.
The PPP agreed that none of its members would contact aspirants for PML-Q tickets. Earlier, the Q-League had expressed apprehensions to President Zardari that the new PPP leadership in Punjab had been trying to rope in some Q-League and its runaway leaders.
Although the meeting agreed to work together to ‘snatch’ Punjab from Sharifs’ PML-N, a participant said: “Wattoo sahib knows this is not the politics of 1990s and a new strategy is required to manoeuvre things.”