Nearly 46 million young voters hold key to Pak elections

Nearly 46 million young voters hold key to Pak elections
  • 8

Islamabad: Nearly 46 million young voters out of the 105 million eligible for voting in Pakistan will play a key role in determining the next government when the general election is expected to be held in July.
The current government led by the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) will complete its tenure on May 31 post which a caretaker government will oversee the election which is proposed to be held between July 25 and 27.
A total of 59.2 million males and 46.7 million females constitute the electoral roll across the six provinces Pakistan, which has a population of over 200 million, according to data on the website of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
A triangular contest between the governing PML-N led by prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan’s PTI and former president Asif Ali Zardari’s PPP is on the cards.
But poll analysts believe that this time it would be the young blood coupled with the power of social media who would play a pivotal role in deciding the future regime of the world’s sixth most populous country.
A huge number of young voters – a majority of whom use social media – could not only influence the electorate using propaganda tools on online platforms, but also alter the electoral scene in several constituencies if they turn out in large numbers on the election day, the Dawn newspaper quoted analysts as saying.
According to the age-wise data collated from official sources, there are 17.44 million voters between the ages of 18 and 25, 28.99 million between 26 and 35, while 22.48 million between 36 and 45.
The voters in the age bracket between 18 years and 35 years are described as young voters. This group in the age brackets of 18-25 and 26-35 forms 43.82 per cent of total voters.
Of the 17.44 million voters under 25, 10.13 million are in Punjab province, 3.11 million in Sindh, 2.77 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 0.774 million in Balochistan, 0.558 million in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas and 0.117 million are from the federal capital.
Of the 28.99 million voters between the ages of 26 and 35 years, 16.09 million are from Punjab, 6.17 million from Sindh, 4.49 million from KP, 1.23 million from Balochistan, 0.776 million from FATA and 0.208 million from the federal capital.
In the electoral rolls prepared for the 2013 general polls, the total number of voters was 86.18 million, of which 17.5 million voters were under 25, while 24.2 million voters were between 26 and 35, 17.2 million between 36 and 45, 12 million between 46 and 55, 8.4 million in the age bracket of 56 to 65 years, while 6.7 million voters were above 66 years of age. PTI