THERE is a misperception that the majority of the nine million expatriates will vote for the ruling party in the next general elections. No party will get all these millions of votes because they do not fall under a single constituency. The expatriates, as is obvious, hail from different constituencies spread all over Pakistan.
Since the right to vote has been granted to expatriates, some irresponsible individuals, who want to prove that they are more loyal than the king, have started painting a rosy picture for the ruling party, claiming that it will get 50,000 to 70,000 additional votes in each constituency. This appears to be contrary to the ground realities.
It is highly incorrect to assume that 100 per cent expatriates will cast their votes in favour of the ruling party, for other parties, including those in the opposition, also have a fairly strong vote bank abroad.
Besides, the turnout is never 100pc and it is safe to assume there will be 60pc turn out, which is supposed to be a very good turn out during the elections. Out of this 60pc votes, the ruling party’s share in each constituency is likely to be between 5,000 and 10,000. The other political parties may get 2,000 to 3,000 such votes.
Expatriates’ vote will only make a difference when the gap between the winner and the runner-up is narrow. Otherwise if the margin is big, the effect of the expatriates’ vote is likely to be nullified.
The ruling party and its supporters must be careful about those ‘yes men’ who are misleading it by painting a rosy picture which may cause great embarrassment like they faced in
the recent local government (LG) elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Lt-Col (retd) Syed Iftikhar Ahmed
Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2022