With the slowing economy, rising prices and rising inflation, the opposition has a ready-made cudgel with which to beat the government, and they have wasted no time in putting this weapon to good use. With the public in a state of despair all the opposition has to do is amplify the difficulties and question the government’s policies to rake in political points. It helps when the same government has once used similar pronouncements to criticize the then incumbents – especially when it comes to dealing with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They can simplify be parroted back at the ruling party to great effect.    

However, while this might be considered doing a passable job of being the opposition the role entails much more than simple criticism and complaints; the opposition must provide a sustainable alternative. It seems that the as the initial flurry of outrage is passing, the opposition in coming around to its true role.

What has been presented by them is a set of demands; chief among them is the insistence that the government come forward with the conditions set by the IMF so that the “public would know the deal we have made with the Fund”. The rest deal more specifically with the upcoming budget - demanding that the prices of certain commodities be restored to previous levels, along with power and gas tariffs, and that no new taxes be imposed.

These demands related to the budget may represent the wishes of the common man, but they also stand diametrically opposed to the policy direction that the government has adopted, as well as the economic decisions that have been enforced on it by the IMF. The opposition must know that most of them can never be fulfilled.

Their eventual denial gives the opposition a deadlier cudgel compared to the one it currently has – but these demands certainly cannot be called a sustainable alternative; one that the opposition is supposed to provide.