LAHORE - A battle mainly between the PML-N government and the rest is expected before the Judicial Commission which is set to investigate the May 2013 general elections with possible deep repercussions on political scenario of the country in the long run.

Though the N government has also objected to election results in certain areas, this party, by and large, is likely to defend its position before the commission against the allegations from the rest of the parties. There is no likelihood that this party is held responsible in case election rigging is proven. However, the outcome of the commission, as analysts say, would carry political implications to clear and infuse new vigour in some parties while demoralising others. The PML-N wants to complete the tenure in power, so it will contest the rigging allegations seriously and will not let the current setup get disturbed, opine the analysts.

The main purpose likely to be achieved through the commission is not only political but also to uncover the factors which have traditionally been involved in the manipulation of elections, poll planning, rigging methods and using the ECP in this process and that who have been beneficiaries of all this hanky-panky. All this will go a long way to make future elections transparent and fair, coupled with ongoing electoral reforms, they add.

The presidential ordinance promulgated to set up the commission envisages dissolution of the assemblies in case rigging is established from the evidence and material. The analysts say after the commission’s findings, the role of the President about dissolution or otherwise would come to the fore, but it is unlikely that an elected government is sent packing on the basis of some rigged constituencies.

First time in the national history, an extraordinary step has been adopted to examine the transparency and fairness of the elections to meet the demand of an opposition party. This party has serious reservations about the election results, which, after the first round of protest politics, is now in the judicial arena to get audit of ballots. The PTI is very optimistic about proving rigging, bogus voting, irregularities and maneuvering of the results in the last polls for which it has presented the case of 70 constituencies majority of which are in Punjab.

After the formation of the commission and return of the PTI legislators to the assemblies, a general perception was that a win-win situation had been achieved by the PTI and the government for smooth sailing in future. Now PTI Chairman Imran Khan is repeatedly declaring 2015 as the election year, which will become true if most of the constituencies selected by PTI are found massively rigged to set a benchmark that makes overall election incredible and doubtful.

The analysts say the PTI changed its mood because it faced quite unsavory taste after rejoining the Parliament at the hands of PML-N legislators and now it is on tightrope after a resolution was moved by the MQM to disqualify the Tehreek MNAs on the basis of their 40-day absence from the house. This resolution is going to be debated next week. Naturally, the PTI, pushed to the wall, will hotly contest the case before the commission to prove the allegations and if the party succeeds in proving the rigging charges, it may reinforce its demand for fresh polls.

The PML-N and the PTI have engaged top lawyers of the countries to confront each other on the polls-related charges.

The other main political parties presenting their cases to the commission are PPP, JI, PML-Q, JUI-F, ANP and MQM which have questioned loss of seats in their political bastions in different provinces. PPP has objected to the results in 10 constituencies of the Punjab, KP and Sindh, JI in seven, mainly in ANP, and JUI-F in KP. The PTI and the PML-Q are focusing on the Punjab seats which were mainly won by the PML-N while in KP, PTI, JUI-F and ANP and PPP and MQM in Sindh may counter each other to defend their seats.

It is an interesting feature that former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary is also in the picture to clear his position before the JC against the charges levelled by the PTI about the appointment of ROs.

The commission, enjoying all constitutional powers and assistance of the intelligence agencies, is likely to probe the allegations of fake use of magnetic ink, printing of ballot papers from private companies, verification of thump impressions from Nadra record, tampering with the election results, appointment of the returning officers, multiple voting and video recording.

In view of the analysts, evidence from the Election Commission and the caretakers would hold the key to reach the truth. Particularly, the resignation of the chief election commissioner days after the elections were held as well as a statement by an additional Secretary of the commission may help find out how transparently the polls were held.

Another feature of the matter is the time which is 45 days to complete the investigation with extra days if the needful could not be done.

The PTI has questioned maximum 70 seats, but the question is whether those who fairly won the elections afford to lose public representation for no fault of their own. So there are still many phases following the probe, the analysts say.