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General Elections in Pakistan on July 25, 2018

Sunday May 27, 2018 12:58 PM, & Agencies

Imran Khan

Islamabad: The General Elections in Pakistan will be held on July 25. The President Mamnoon Hussain has approved the date for elections signing the summary sent by the Election Commission of Pakistan about it, a presidential spokesman said in a message posted on Twitter.

The election will see Pakistan's more than 100 million voters getting the opportunity to vote for both the national and provincial assemblies.

The five-year term of Pakistan's Government and National Assembly ends on May 31, after which an interim prime minister and administration will take over. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and opposition leader Khursheed Shah have yet to agree on who will be the caretaker.

The 70-year-old country experienced its first democratic transition of power in 2013, when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came out on top as the biggest party. Nawaz Sharif, the party's leader, was dismissed from his job as prime minister by the Supreme Court in July last year for an omission in a wealth declaration to parliament, Al Jazeera reported citing agencies.

The general elections are largely expected to pit the PML-N against its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party led by former cricket star Imran Khan.

Since he was ousted, Sharif and the PML-N have become increasingly vocal in their confrontation with the country's military establishment and courts, claiming they are victims of a conspiracy to reduce the power of their party.

Despite the numerous court rulings against the PML-N, the party has won a string of recent by-elections proving it will likely remain a powerful force. A survey conducted ahead of polls also suggested that though Imran Khan's popularity has surged in recent years, PML-N still holds edge.

"The PTI’s support has increased from 17pc in the 2013 elections to 25pc in the most recent Gallup poll. In the same period, the PML-N has gone up from 33pc to 38pc. The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) remains stagnant at around 15pc", Gallup Pakistan’s survey as cited by Dawn said.

"While only 15 per cent of voters were influenced by the personal appeal of leaders, 85pc of them voted for parties. This would seem to minimise the impact of Imran Khan’s undeniable charisma. In terms of personal popularity, Gallup Pakistan’s findings are that Nawaz Sharif leads Imran Khan by 50pc to 45pc", the survey said.

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