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PML-N set for smooth sailing on Aug 6


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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — File Photo
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The nominee of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) looks set for a smooth sailing through the presidential election when voting takes place on Aug 6.

The opposition, however, can produce some fight only if it agrees on a joint candidate.

Given the party position and affiliations in the four provincial assemblies, the National Assembly and the Senate, if all members vote in accordance with the party lines, no candidate will have the potential to create a hurdle in the way of the PML-N’s nominee entering the Presidency in September after the term of President Asif Ali Zardari expires.

A projected outcome of the presidential poll in case of a 100 per cent turnout shows that the PML-N’s candidate should secure 388 votes. Statistics show that the opposition — comprising the PPP, the PTI and the MQM as main parties — cannot cross the 300-mark even if it succeeds in fielding a joint candidate.

The votes will be calculated according to a formula given in the Second Schedule of the constitution. This formula gives equal representation to the provincial assemblies.

The Presidential Election Rules of 1988, devised in the light of Article 41 of the constitution, provide for a 1,170-member electoral college of both houses of parliament and the four provincial assemblies. But the total number of votes, according to the formula, is 702.

As 52 seats are vacant in the legislatures, the number of electoral votes this time will be 672.

The winner must get a majority of the votes polled.

The electoral college comprises 342 members of the National Assembly, 104 of the Senate, 371 of the Punjab Assembly, 168 of the Sindh Assembly, 124 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and 65 of the Balochistan Assembly.

As the Balochistan Assembly is the smallest house with 65 members, votes in the three other provincial assemblies are to be divided by 65: so 5.7 MPAs of Punjab, 2.58 of Sindh and 1.9 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be equivalent to one vote. On the other hand, one-member-one-vote formula is applied in the NA, the Senate and the Balochistan Assembly.

In the National Assembly, the coalition comprising the PML-N, JUI-F, PML-F, PkMAP, NP and other smaller groups enjoys the support of 218 MNAs, compared to the opposition’s 105.

In the Senate, the situation reverses itself as the ruling coalition has 34 members, while the opposition parties have 67. The PPP is still the largest party with 39 members in the house.

PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLIES: The PML-N, however, enjoys an absolute majority in the Punjab Assembly with 302 MPAs in the 354-member house. Thus it is expected to get 53 electoral votes in Punjab while the opposition parties have seven.

The opposition parties, however, are far ahead of the PML-N and its allies in the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies.

In Sindh, the PML-N and its allies are expected to get only seven electoral votes whereas the projected combined votes of the PPP and the MQM come to 55.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PML-N’s candidate can only get a maximum of 20 votes against 42 electoral votes of the opposition parties, including the PTI and the JI.

The accompanying table depicts a complete picture of all the legislatures with projected electoral votes.

Comments (4) Closed

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Jul 18, 2013 06:36am

It is the good governance and welfare of Pakistani masses and not the new President which will matter in the end. Pakistanis must learn to depend on their own selves and not on doles from the Western powers or China.

ali Jul 18, 2013 10:20am

The presidential elections are of no importance to the general public, the local bodies elections are.

Afzal Mahmood Jul 18, 2013 11:28am

Thank God this country is on the smooth sailing in democratic way. This is first time in the history of our homeland that a democratically elected President is going to complete his constitutional term in office and shall be replaced by new one elected through the same process. This will go a long way in establishing and strengthening democratic norms and manners in this land which has been alien to democracy in good part of its history. While we may say that all institutions and relevant quarters did not resort to any activity, which may term totally undemocratic, but it was mainly President Zerdari who continued policy of reconciliation, faced the criticism from media with greater ease and whatever came out from the higher judiciary. So we are in transition to democratic ways and hope this will continue if the present power apparatus exercises the same amount of political exuberance, reconciliation and lend enough space to those who do not fell in line with them.

Robert Jul 19, 2013 03:01pm

Pakistan for sure depend on its own resources and manpower. No country can depend on itself alone , it is a global world . Everyone need each other . Even great economies like America depend on other countries so do china . If in pakistan security problem can be solved and foreign intervention is stop. Pakistanis ,good or bad are talented enough to rise with dignity and solve their own problems . We are the best , believe it .