The tug-of-war over the caretaker Chief Minister selections ensues with PML-N and PTI oscillating between their chosen candidates, this time with PML-N backpedaling on its decision. Where after weeks of gridlocks, and a looming election date, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) made its decision in Hassan Askari, PML-N has not only rejected ECPs choice but has also urged him to voluntarily step down.

Where the PTIs’ caretaker nominations have largely been based on candidates sporting an inherent partiality to them, it should have come as no surprise that Hassan Askari’s publicly perceived political leaning would tilt towards the party. Yet it can be deemed highly probable that all parties concerned who are submitting candidates for consideration would endorse a contender with, if not an overt allegiance, then at most some congruity with the sponsoring party’s political narrative. That is also why the appointment of the caretaker government, subject to consensus between vehemently opposed parties, is fraught with such discord and backtracking - previously demonstrated by PTI’s afterthought of renouncing Nasir Khosa.

The definitive fact is that the ECP is in the right in rejecting PML-N’s reservations over the nomination. The ECP took the decision only after the political parties had failed to reach consensus on a name and is in complete accordance with the Constitution. PML-N’s hyperbolic declaration of rejecting the election results is a refutation of the constitutionally designated authority of the ECP, and should be curbed. The ECP must be accorded due deference during the election process, seeing as it is the unending obfuscation and stalemates between the parties that entailed in it taking up a mediating role in the first place. PML-Ns’ retroactive protestation stands to be no different than PTI’s recent backpedaling, and will only result in vilifying the bearing of ECP and the appointed candidate, further impeding the election process.