Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pakistan Election Day Today 11 May: Polls Open In Landmark Democratic Transition

Pakistan goes to polls today, Saturday 11 May in a landmark election that will bring the first transition between civilian governments in a country ruled by the military for more than half of its turbulent history.

The people of Pakistan hope the polls will deliver change and ease frustrations with a feeble economy, widespread corruption, chronic power cuts and crumbling infrastructure, reports Huffington Post.

Although the Pakistan Muslim League of Nawaz faction is making tall claims for a big win, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Imran Khan's dark-horse challenge could deprive Sharif of a majority and dash his hopes for a return to power 14 years after he was ousted in a military coup, jailed and later exiled.

Pakistan's best-known sportsman, who led a playboy lifestyle in his younger days, Khan is seen by many as a refreshing change from the dynastic politicians who long relied on a patronage system to win votes and are often accused of corruption.

Khan appeals mostly to young, urban voters because of his calls for an end to corruption, a new political landscape and a halt to U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani soil.

At present, the 60-year-old Mr Khan is in hospital after injuring himself in a fall at a party rally, which may also win him sympathy votes. A survey released on Wednesday showed 24.98 percent of voters nationally planned to vote for Mr Khan's party, just a whisker behind Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).
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