Stories about elections

The common man can make Imran Khan win

Will Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) ‘sweep’ the next general elections? Well, Imran might not be able to sweep them but he will definitely register significant gains. There are two reasons for that. First is the addition of around 38 million new voters in the electoral rolls, the majority of which are constituted by the country’s youth. As explained by Imran Khan in a recent talk show, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were able to garner 18 million votes in the 2008 elections. Thus, it’s a ...

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Egging: Future leaders or cruel monsters?

Youth and change seem to be unsettling buzzwords in Pakistan’s political vocabulary amidst the pre-election rhetoric this year. With 63 per cent of its population under 25 years of age, the youth of Pakistan is undeniably the harbinger of this country’s future. But have we prepared our children to bring the change we constantly seek from our leaders? Last night, on a routine drive home from work, I spotted a car with a group of teenage boys perched on the panes of rolled-down car windows, slowly cruising at a busy junction near a bustling market in Islamabad. For a split ...

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Welcome to the “Islamic awakening” in Egypt

In a bid to save Egypt from further turmoil, the results of the final runoff vote for the presidential poll were declared in favour of Mohamed Mursi Eissa al-Ayat, of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mursi won with 13,230,131 votes against Shafiq’s 12,347,380. The election, in which more than 50 million voters were eligible to cast their ballot, saw a 51.8% turnout. For quite some time there was a deadlock between the two candidates with the world media hinting towards further chaos in the country. The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters were accusing the military establishment for holding off the results in a ...

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Upholding the law, undermining the ballot

Pakistan has always been a tough case for those who like to see democracy as a black and white affair; either a country is a democracy or it is not. The periods in which elected governments have held power have been described as “quasi-democratic”, “sham democracy”, “civilian autocracy” and other such unpalatable terms. However, many were looking towards the completion of this particular elected government’s term as a historical first in Pakistan’s intermittent democratisation process. Would the term completion have amounted to mere symbolism and what does the judicial ouster of the Prime Minister imply for Pakistan’s political future? From a ...

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How to make it big in Pakistan

There are many mysteries surrounding the rich and elite in Pakistan. These mysteries  have haunted us since time immemorial; how do they do it? How did that man make it so big, so fast being, so young? Where does he work? How can he be so rich without a job? These questions haunted me during the day and gave me nightmares at night, and all I could keep thinking to myself was ‘but how?’ I am pleased to tell you all that I have finally cracked the code; I have all the answers now! Reading newspapers, court orders, precedents and online research ...

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Will the Tsunami kill orthodox politics?

In the last century, it has been generally accepted that Pakistani voters are more or less divided according to the left-right ideological divide which is also, conveniently, referred to as the Bhutto/anti-Bhutto vote. However, in the last decade a new breed of voters is ready to replace those who were young during 1970s and 80s. The priorities of the previous generation of voters too has been altered by the significant changes in economic and social conditions, consequently they no longer are as enthusiastically affiliated to the left-right politics as they once were. On the other hand, new generations of voters are immune ...

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Punjab’s dislike for polls on party lines

It is understandable for dictatorial regimes to hold elections on non-party basis. Political parties are platforms that nurture aspiring politicians and hence strengthen democratic politics. A dictator is averse to the latter and, therefore, denies political parties any opportunity for organising themselves. He prefers picking and choosing his own people for elected offices, so the likes of Amir Mahmood and Shujaur Rahman get elected to municipal councils. They may pretend to represent their cities, but their eligibility for the office is mostly derived from support for the dictator and the socioeconomic muscle that they are capable of wielding because of their ...

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Education must not be ignored in the next budget

Recently, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced the government’s top priorities for the next budget. Electricity and employment top the list. Although this is all good news, I would like to ask our premier, what about education?  Without a doubt, the electricity crisis is the most important issue Pakistan is facing right now. The country is suffering immeasurably due to shortage of electric power and our economic wheel has stopped. However, this issue is as old as our current government. Four years have gone by, but our government has yet to take serious notice of the crisis. As elections are expected during the ...

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What the PML-N got wrong

In the last eight months or so, the PML-N has done pretty much everything a party can do in an election year. They have dug up every road in Punjab, raised concerns about problems in other provinces and have even recruited avidly to beef up their party ranks. Effectively, they have prepared well for the upcoming elections. And even though the tsunami is coming for them, they are still focused on the real competitor. One would say that they are ready to go to the polls and seize power. However, all is not what it seems to be – my personal ...

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Is there a method to Sharif’s madness?

In a fiery press conference recently, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif warned Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to step down or face a long march aimed at dislodging him. Claiming the high moral ground, Mr Sharif said that since Gilani was convicted, he has lost all moral reason to continue in office. Sharif’s newfound love for the judiciary is well-known. Ever since he returned from exile, he has proved to be the most ardent champion of judicial supremacy and rule of law. If there are people around who want to talk about an obscure incident in a distant past where some PML-N ...

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