Election Fever ’08 – Pakistan Votes

The election fever is starting to get into higher gear after a day of relatively peaceful voting. The day passed without any widespread incidents, but with a few reported incidents which are part and parcel sadly. However, more or less a day without incident, which is a good thing. Now , at 10 at night , the results are pouring in. Apart from a couple of seats, a 100% results have not come in. In fact not even 50% of a lot of seats have not come in as yet. But it’s all so very interesting still.

I remember the elections of the yesteryears. This one being the first one in which I had the ability to vote ( yes .. i am young ). It was an interesting experience to be a part of the electoral process. However, as I earlier said, the elections of the yesteryears had a different feel to it altogether. The elections of the 90’s were those in which we were hooked to PTV, with Mr. Naeem Bukhari with his smiling 32s providing the results and commentary on the ongoing process. The various skits that used to come on. It used to have a festive feel to it, regardless of the fact that both the governments of the 90’s were dismissed from the office. This election, people are, as another writer in today’s DAWN Newspaper has also observed, has been a more of a cautios affair. There isn’t the same celebratory feeling that used to be there in previous elections. People are in fear for their life. As always we are prepared for a war of words after the results, it’s part and parcel of all elections. But this time, we must also be vary of violence. The Kingmaker’s party is not exactly there. So anything which will upset the AGGRIEVED party and it will be chaos.

But like I said, so far, so smooth. The results which are coming in at the moment, have as expected shown a lot of popularity for PPP in Sindh. PML-Q as expected is not really on the map, so much so that even Sheikh Rasheed, is trailing in his ‘halqa’, something which is extremely shocking. The Shariff revolution is turning on in Punjab. And at this time, the chant which was echoing a few months back when Nawaz Shariff tried to return to the country for the first time back in August comes to mind again. ‘Nawaz Shariff Aawai aaway!!!’

The way everything is going right now, I sense that PML-N will indeed emerge the powerhouse in Punjab. PML-Q is out the door. Although I must admit I honestly thought that Punjab just might see a split between the 3, PML-Q , PML – N and PPP. But as things are going, ‘Nawaz Shariff Aawai Aaway’ seems to hold some mettle of it’s own. The other areas are showing things more or less the same as predicted. Balochistan has seen one Provincial Seat being won by ANP. There have also been one or 2 NA seats that have been won by PPP and an Independent candidate.

But it’s just 10 at night, it’s still a long way to go. There are still a hell of a lot of votes to come so no clear cut speculation can be made as well. My suggestion, heat some popcorn, crack open the bottle of coke, and keep tuned in to the news. To all the office going people, I suggest you make sure till about 2 in the night that certain parties in certain cities are not upset by the results before they actually decide to go ahead with going to work tomorrow.


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