Cracks In The Coalition
It is easier to unite under a coalition when a common enemy and a common goal of power can be seen over the horizon. However, when that common enemy or goal fades away, and material financial and influential decisions are required to be made, these unwilling alliances can be all too brittle.
Such is the case with the government coalition. A different set of parties, with wildly different ideologies, have spent barely a few months in government when the cracks in their coalition have started to appear. There are several triggers and circumstances which would make even a singular united party form divisions within its own—the coalition government bears the burden to pass a budget at a time when the country faces dire economic conditions.
The upcoming by-elections for several constituencies make the problem worse as the majority party in the coalition government must make the difficult decision of allocating tickets either to reward members of other parties for joining the coalition, dissident members of the PTI, or their own long-suffering loyalists.
The majority party, the PML-N, will have to proceed with caution and display leadership in keeping the coalition together. PPP will also have to be responsible, as it has often been referred to as the ‘guarantor’ in this alliance. The series of speeches that took place in the National Assembly session on Monday, where one after the other, nearly all coalition partners made angry outbursts over the “change of attitude” of the PML-N accusing it of backtracking from the commitments it made ahead of the no-confidence vote against former prime minister Imran Khan, should be a cause of concern for the coalition leadership.
The strength of the coalition will play a part in their performance in the July 17 by-elections. Already the PML-N faces several disadvantages, including the presence of TLP in several constituencies, thus depriving it of a particular variety of religious votes, and the allotting of tickets to PTI dissidents, a political gamble which may offend loyalist voters. The government is far from secure at this point.