Vote for Naya Pakistan
There is no doubt that PTI will form the next government as it has emerged victorious in the 2018 electoral contest. The official results will be consolidated and announced by ECP soon. It is clear by now that PTI would be the largest party and fears of a hung parliament have proven wrong. On Election Day we saw voters trying to have their say in what is the largest democratic exercise in our country. It was an act of courage and commitment on the part of the voters. In the run-up to Election 2018, multiple political rallies were targeted by militants, and on Election Day itself 31 people were killed in a suicide bombing outside a polling station in Quetta. But this did not deter the enthusiasm of of people outside the polling stations, indicating the vigour of a nation out to elect its rulers for the next five years.
Such was the enthusiasm to have the voice of vote heard that a large number of female voters gathering at a constituency in Faisalabad caused the roads in the surroundings blocked. For women, the election also brought a historic first when they cast vote for the first time in Upper Dir district of KhyberPakhtunkhwa. The media also played a major role in the success of the electoral exercise. Its non- stop telethons and public service messages greatly helped in mobilising the voters. Such was the mobilisation that despite an hour already added to the polling time this election, almost all the parties wanted the voting time to be extended by one more hour.
To gain a majority, a party needs 137 of the 272 elected National Assembly seats. A further 70 seats for women and minorities are awarded proportionally based on the voting percentageOn the basis of latest showing PTI appears to be in a position to form a government all of its own but if need be it can have the support of independents and other like-minded parties.For the first time fighting without official crutches, the PML-N has suffered badly in the elections. The trend was clear months before the elections. Emerging numbers show that the party has gone from an outright majority to only being the second largest party, and its grip on the provincial government in Punjab has been loosened. In central Punjab PML-N has largely retained its position but it has suffered a severe jolt in south Punjab. PTI is a clear winner in KPK. In Karachi too the MQM-Pakistan lost ground to the PTI. Both the PML-N and MQM-P have taken the stand that that the downturn in their fortunes was due to issues beyond their control - the legal woes of the PML-N and law-enforcement action against the MQMPakistan which caused deep divisions in the two parties, allowing their opponents to take advantage.
Some parties have cried foul but all are agreed that the elections were largely conducted in a fair manner as endorsed by foreign observers. Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, Mutahhida Majilis-e-Amal and other parties haverejected the results. This is not surprising and it is not the first time that political parties in Pakistan have complained about rigging.The PML-N has alleged that counting was stopped in constituencies where its candidates were winning.There is a mechanism in place for redress of any such grievances. The aggrieved parties can go to the Election Commission with their complaints.
Many challenges await the incoming government.The 2018 elections have been held in the midst of a rapidly declining economy, with the rupee's 20 per cent devaluation and dwindling foreign currency reserves. The debt pile has gone high and fiscal deficit has swelled uncontrollably. PTI government will need to put together a competent team of managers to tackle the backlog of problems left behind by PML-N government.