SDPI in the PressSDPI launches report on Pakistanis voting choices in elections
Dispatch News Desk
Tuesday, 5th Mar 2013
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in a ceremony on Tuesday launched the report on voting choices of people of Pakistan in upcoming general election.
The report titled “Political Barometer: A Study of Socio-Political Preferences of People of Pakistan” is outcome of opinion survey jointly conducted by Herald Pakistan and SDPI in 54 districts of Pakistan.
According to SDPI press release, speaking at the occasion, Dr Abid Q. Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said that survey is an academic exercise that gauges the level of consensus on issues such as law & order, corruption, poverty, extremism, education, health, economic and foreign policies. He said the findings must not be confused with popularity levels of different political parties and their leaders.
Sharing the findings of survey, Dr Suleri said, majority of voters were divided on various policy issues including who to vote and what issues are critical at the moment for the country. He shared that 29 per cent of registered voters expressed an intention to vote for Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) whereas 24.7 per cent pledged support for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) while 20.3 per cent indicated a preference for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
He said 42 percent of respondents believe interprovincial relations in Pakistan are disharmonious and there is almost equal demand for creation of new provinces. Apprising on voting choices on basis of ethnicity, he said, 55pc Sindhis favored PPP, 34pc of Pakhtuns are in favour of the PTI , 43 percent Punjabi’s supported PML-N wheras 47 percent of Baloch’s favored BNP-Mengal.
Dr. Suleri said survey findings indicate PTI derives support from all ages, dispelling the notion that the PTI’s vote bank is concentrated in younger generations. He said looking at these results and voting histories, the PML-N’s vote bank appears to have remained stable while the PPP’s seems to have declined significantly, whose voters appears to be shifted towards PTI.
He said the survey shows alarming trend in which society is getting more radicalized where 53 percent want the government to promote hijab; 30 percent consider honor killing acceptable and justified; 26 percent want the government to ban women working along men; and 19 percent want a ban on women contesting elections and taking parts in sports.
Dr Vaqar, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI briefed participants on socio-economic trends of the survey and said that majority of the respondents supported increased spending on education and health while making a substantial cut on defense budget. They also termed military as the strongest institution in the country, and then comes judiciary and other power groups.
Shakeel Ahmed Ramay, Senior Research Associate, SDPI presented survey findings on peoples preferences on foreign affairs. He said, China was the most popular country among people of Pakistan adding that responded also called for having stronger ties with Islamic and SAARC countries with 88 percent and 74 percent support respectively. He informed that 57 percent people strongly opposed drone strikes while at the same time they also considered presence of foreign militants on Pakistani soil as violation of Pakistani sovereignty.