Why a ‘Presidential System’ is inevitable in Pakistan

What is a Presidential System?

 A presidential system is a democratic and republican system of the government where the head of the government leads an executive branch which is separate from the legislative branch. This head of the government in many cases known as the head of the state, which is known as ‘president’.

In a presidential system, people directly elect their head of the government, which contrasts the parliamentarian system, where the head of the government/state is elected by the legislators (MNAs).

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In a presidential system, head of the government/state is often elected directly by the people of the country. This makes the power of president more legitimate than that of a head of the government elected indirectly. A presidential system constructs the presidency and the legislature as the two parallel structures, which allows the each structure to monitor and check the performance of the other, preventing abuses of power.

Why a ‘Presidential System’ is required in Pakistan?

In Pakistan, the people doesn’t have rights to directly elect the head of the state, instead the people give authority to elect the head of the country to the Members of National Assembly (MNAs). The authority of MNAs to elect the head of the government triggers the political party to nominate the ‘electable’ during the general elections. The political parties doesn’t have any other option than making the electable join their party during the election and contest election on the ticket of that specific political power.

Let’s suppose, I want Imran Khan to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan, but the candidate, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has nominated in my constituency, in my opinion, is not eligible to hold the seat of the National Assembly. In this case, I do not have any other option instead of giving my vote to the MNA nominated by the political party PTI.

On the other hand, some candidates won the general elections as remaining independent, then after the results of the elections, they decide which political party they are going to join while keeping in mind that which political party has more chances to form the government. Then what is a point to contest the elections independently?

In current situation, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has formed its government in federal and Pakistan’s largest province Punjab by making alliances with other political parties such as; Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P). In this scenario, Imran-led federal government is bound not to take any action against these political parties because if any of these parties feel uncomfortable with PTI, they make their way apart from the PTI and the government can never survive. In short, Imran Khan is bound not to take any action against these political powers and have to award them ministries as well.

In a presidential system, Imran Khan or any other political leader can be elected as the head of the state directly by the people of the country, and doesn’t need any political alliance with any other political party or the independent candidates.

In the current state, the head of the government (Prime Minister) is more focused on how to keep up the alliance with other political powers than he is focused on the other affairs of the country. A political party with only 4 MNAs can threaten the government of Pakistan which has more than 100 members in the lower house of Parliament.

Another example; In current scenario, if the head of the state wants to choose any minister for education, instead of choosing the one of the best educationists of the country, the head of the state has to choose the minister from within the parliament whether he/she is the best at education or not.

More than 70 years have passed the current parliamentarian system doesn’t change the fate of Pakistan, so, in my opinion, that is why the presidential system is the only system that Pakistan hasn’t experienced yet. This is the only system which can make the difference and change the living standards of the poor people of Pakistan.

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