The tenure of the incumbent government will end on May 31, 2018. The premier will ask the president to dissolve the assemblies, and both PM and leader of the opposition will have to agree on the recommendation for caretaker prime minister.As per the media reports, PM Abbasi on Wednesday suggested the leader of the opposition, Khursheed Shah, to nominate a bureaucrat or a technocrat for the position of the caretaker prime minister, and not a retired judge. The premier further proposed that the matter of the caretaker prime minister’s appointment should not be taken to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Reportedly, Khursheed Shah assured PM Abbasi of complete cooperation to reach a consensus on the matter.Following the meeting with premier, Shah met Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The current government is expected to conclude its five-year term on May 31, after which the caretaker government will take over to hold the general elections, which are expected to be held in the last week of July or first week of August. As per the Constitution of Pakistan, the caretaker prime minister is appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the opposition leader in the National Assembly. The prime responsibility of the caretaker government is to ensure that the elections are held in a transparent manner.There is a myth that electables need political parties, but the fact of the matter is that it is the other way round, as to form a government, political parties need winning candidatesBefore 2008 elections, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, former Governor State Bank of Pakistan’s name was being considered as caretaker prime minister, and now once again his name is being mentioned as one of the nominees of the government. In 2013, Maqbool H Rahimtoola was one of the ministers of the caretaker setup and held many portfolios. He is son of Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola, one of the founders of the nation, a close friend and confidante of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Apart from his uprightness, honesty is in his genes. One wonders why scions of founders of the nation are ignored for assignments to serve the nation. Anyhow, race between the political parties to woo the electable (winning candidates) has started. After disqualification of former premier Nawaz Sharif, and with the ongoing cases against Sharif family in the Accountability Court some of the members have already left the PML-N.Quite a few of them are reportedly waiting in the wings, as the PML-N continues to be at loggerheads with the institutions, as they do not want to be the victims of clash between the institutions. In the event Nawaz Sharif is convicted, scores of them are likely to ditch the party, as they did after 12th October 1999. Those deserters were taken back in PML-N’s fold before and after 2013 elections, and compulsive deserters are likely to leave the party, participate in the elections as independents or join other parties. The electable are master political strategists; they sail along the waves and turn the surge to their advantage. There is a myth that electables need political parties, but the fact of the matter is that it is the other way round, as to form government political parties need winning candidates.Most electables have thousands of acres of agriculture land in their constituency and their peasants would vote as dictated by their masters. In fact, only 1970 election was fought on ideological basis. It would indeed be a welcome development if participatory democracy along with good governance becomes a key issue in the upcoming general election. Political parties outline their commitment to the voters in their respective manifestoes, which is not honoured. The problem is that an ordinary person with middle-class background cannot afford to field himself as a candidate for a provincial or national assembly seat. Therefore, members of landed aristocracy and upstarts in business are likely to be elected. Theoretically, the system of electoral democracy empowers the voters to take away the powers of elected members, if they fall short of popular aspirations and/or grossly violate fundamental ideology. While the system adequately provides procedure to impeach the public office holders, the elected representatives go scot free because of their clout in the institutions. Unfortunately Pakistani democracy depicts different ground reality, as voters after having elected their representatives virtually become subjects of powerful elite, who ride a rough shod over the subjects and shatter all hopes of voters by neglecting their problems, financial difficulties and psychological distress.Promises made during election campaign are forgotten, while perks of public offices are fully enjoyed. Irony of the fate is that same elite group gets elected over and over again and election campaigns are held as mere rituals. In rural areas, the electable — winning candidates — have tremendous influence in their constituencies because of land-holdings. Furthermore, they have a long experience of contesting elections; and furthermore they have developed nexus with local power brokers at union and village level rather than their voters.The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at email@example.comPublished in Daily Times, April 22nd 2018.