Religion plays an important part in the lives of most of the Pakistanis, however, it does not seem to affect the general elections 2018. As the voting day draws closer, the political experts are busy predicting the outcomes of the electoral fray that will take place on Wednesday, July 25. A recent survey conducted by Dawn.com has observed that parties who are playing the religion card in the upcoming elections won’t get much of the benefit. However, the fact doesn’t seem to affect several political parties including Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan party (of Faizabad sit-in fame). Over 150 candidates of the party will be seen contesting for the National Assembly seats across the country.
Coming to the Dawn.com’s online election survey, the religious political parties will not have a big impact on the outcome of the elections. From 18,136 respondents, it was noted that only 9% of the respondents who took the survey believe that religious organisations will affect the results. After analysing the election results of last decades, religious groups never gained many benefits.
Except for the 2002 polls when Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) won 11% of the total vote cast and 56 National Assembly seats, the religious parties had around 5% to 7% of the total share in the votes cast in any elections. The survey also concluded that there are fair chances that this year Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will win the elections.
Several parties in Pakistan will contest for 342 assembly seats, which includes 272 general seats, while 60 of them are reserved for the women and around 10 of them are reserved for the minorities. If a party wants to form a government it has to cross the majority mark of 137 seats.
Notably, during the 2013 general elections, only 55% votes were cast while the recent survey observed that 67% of the total respondents said that they will definitely vote for this time.