After tussles among parties over the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law and the matter of delimitation of constituencies, debate over whether elections should be held early is the new issue that is creating political rife.

PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry demanded that the date of the elections should be pushed from July-August to April and that early elections were in the larger interest of the nation. PTI has enlisted its fear of a delay of elections because of issues over the census as the reason for early elections.

PTI’s demand has unsurprisingly entertained a lot of backlash from nearly all political parties. The Sindh Assembly on Monday passed a resolution condemning PTI’s proposal. The resolution was tabled by Nisar Khuhro of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supported it. Kuhro said that it was an attack on the mandate of the people and called it unconstitutional.

To debate on the facts, PTI is right in its statement that there is nothing unconstitutional about its request. Early elections have been demanded in the past by PML-N and PPP both. What needs to be investigated more are PTI’s motives for early elections.

PTI claims that early elections had become indispensable because the country was facing serious political and economic crisis; that the incumbent government had lost the confidence of the people and an authoritative and representative government was the need of the hour to take the country out of this crisis. This is simply not true, the country’s economic condition is not in the best state, but the extraordinary fact is that unlike previous instances of political unrest, existing conditions in the country appear to be fairly stable.

While it is true that the assembly and the senate have been operating at a lag, there is nothing so severe that early elections need to be called. Calling early elections, believing that the Khaqan Abbasi government is an interim one, sets a bad precedent for the democratic process – Prime Ministers come and go, assemblies stay the same.

It is better to look between the lines of what PTI is not saying. There are two things that PTI is afraid of - a PML-N victory in the Senate, and secondly, that Nawaz may buy time to worm himself out through a loophole to contest the elections. A PML-N majority in the Senate would enable it to pass constitutional amendments which may undo Nawaz’s disqualification- a terrifying thought. However, countering this by speeding up the National Assembly elections will only create chaos and is a remedy of an undemocratic nature.