AN election is primarily about numbers — the seats won and lost and the votes polled and counted. More than a week after polling day, the ECP has released its official count. There are few surprises as the earlier results had already provided a fair idea of the mandate. The polling numbers have merely added some detail to an already clear picture. Indeed, the official numbers released underline the extent of the PML-N’s victory — the party improved its performance in terms of votes garnered in 2008 by over 100pc. Similarly, the numbers emphasise the disaster that was the PPP on May 11 — the party that ruled the centre and three provincial set-ups has now been reduced to the third biggest party in the country.

The numbers also reveal how one province, Punjab, dominates the country’s electoral arena. The PML-N won primarily from Punjab and ended up as the biggest vote earner and with a simple majority in the National Assembly. Fortunately, the parties that came second and third in terms of votes polled represent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh respectively and will ensure the federation’s representation in the National Assembly.

But more importantly, an election also conveys the needs of the electorate and their judgement of governments. And the voters have sent a clear message. The wholesale rejection of the PPP in Punjab and of the ANP and the PPP in KP proves that the people want their governments to deliver better living standards and security — ideological rhetoric and democracy-strengthening legislation is not enough if villages and cities are enveloped in darkness and unemployed residents face terrorist attacks. Indeed, if the people of Punjab voted for the PML-N in the hope that it would deliver on electricity and inflation, it can be argued that the residents of KP voted for parties that promised them peace. This was the promise that the ANP made in 2008 when Swat and most of Fata were in the control of militants and the former promised to negotiate and to end the fighting. The ANP failed — for many reasons beyond its control no doubt but fail it did. And five years later, the people once again voted for those who promised to end the violence and bring peace. The PML-N and the PTI should note this as they rejoice. Five years pass far too quickly and if they waste the opportunity given to them on May 11, they will face a similar fate.


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Comments (7) Closed




Ashok Prabhu
May 24, 2013 02:36am

Just as Punjab dominates the Electoral Arena in Pakistan,we also have in India UP dominating the arena in Central Elections.The task for the Nawaz Shariff Government will be to extend hand of friendship to Sindh and the Baluchistan Provinces and bring them in the mainstream of Pakistan's Polity.His vast experience will certainly help him tackle the various problems.We in India wish Nawaz Sahab success in tackling the huge task that is awaiting him,and success in building bridges of Peace,Friendship&Cultural relations with India.

I. Ahmed
May 23, 2013 05:08pm
An in-depth analysis will reveal that with all the change, nothing changed. The incompetency of PPP and PML Q led to N league sweeping Punjab. PTI won new votes, irony is that 68% of rural population vote for landlord and feudals, the PTI juggernaut seems to work well on well paved, educated roads or conservatives, which are not many. So if N league will not perform, those votes next time will go to PPP or PML Q. PTI need to review their strategy if they want to make inroads into rural population.
Afaqi,
May 23, 2013 01:20pm
Yes, the voters have given a clear Message. The people always used their vote rightly and made correct decisions. It is the elected ones who would adrift and forget their election slogans and indulged in other sort of immoral corruption which flatten their bank balances. The youth of teen age used their voting right for the first time and they have bitter experience which will make them more wiser by the time of next general election the much needed Change will start shaping up in right direction.
Kausik
May 23, 2013 09:19pm
Dawn should write a informative analysis of seats in Pakistan parliament allocated is it on basis of census of population as it is confusing to outsiders that Punjab dominates whether it is military or not.in India up has maximum seats due to population.
Amir Cheema
May 24, 2013 03:18am
I dont understand why the voters could not see Nawaz Sharif corruption over the years. Sharif family amassed assets worth millions of dollars in foreign countries. I guess people just dont care about corruption. How can Nawaz Sharif government undertake accountability when they themselves indulged in corruption. People of Pakistan deserve leaders like Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. Nobody can change the fate of the people unless they decide to change themselves and choose an honest leader.
syed Nazim
May 24, 2013 03:10pm
Sixty percent turn out in the election was due to slogan of change by PTI. People had seen performance of PML(N) thrice, it was never out standing, there are allegation of corruption against Nawaz family. PML(N) did not motivate people to turn out in great numbers on election date. It was due to popularity of Imran Khan and his manifesto that resulted sixty percent turn out. Extra vote naturally should go to PTI.This implies that the election was manipulated through government machinery in favor of PML(N) in Punjab and PPP/MQM in Sindh. This does not speak well for democracy. To avoid similar manipulations and serious irregularities in future, Election Commission should with the help of NADRA determine thumb impression forgery by political parties and also verify parties poling Agents signatures on compiling papers by Presiding Officers. The forgers and Election Staff should not be allowed to go scot free. Election Commission should commence work on electronic voting at the earliest and ensure implementation at the time of next general election.
Haseeb
May 24, 2013 03:25pm
Lets see what will be the fate of this party after 5 years provided it complete its term in this office. If PML (N) opted the same policies of the last government it will face even a worst fate than PPP. So lets see.