Will religious parties influence the results this time around as they did in the past?
Can religious parties influence the results this time as in the past? The contest in the by-elections in Pakistan’s Punjab province, which is considered crucial, appears to be between the country’s two largest political parties, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). This third force, consisting of religious parties, even if it does not succeed as an individual, can certainly affect the election results of the candidates of both the major parties in many constituencies and has done so in the past. A recent example is the by-election in Constituency 240 of the National Assembly in Karachi, Sindh Province. The MQM Pakistan candidates managed to win this seat but by a margin of only 61 votes. His opponent was the second-ranked religious party, the Tehreek-e-Lubaik Pakistan (TLP). In the July 17 by-elections in Punjab, the TLP has fielded candidates in almost all constituencies, but No group backed by the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa is seen this time.
Among the traditional religious political parties, Jamaat-e-Islami candidates are contesting in a few constituencies, while in some southern parts of Punjab, sectarian-based religious parties have declared support for either the Noon League or the PTI. Observers are also looking at whether the individual or pro-religious vote of religious parties, as in the past, could affect the outcome of the election.
Will religious parties be able to play the same role this time around?
In Punjab, a new by-election in Lahore by-elections in 2017 surprised political pundits for the first time.
This time, Amir Rana, director of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, has an in-depth look at the politics of religious parties in Pakistan. He believes that new and traditional religious parties will not have much influence in the by-elections.
“It would be a big surprise if the religious parties managed to get close to 10,000 votes in a constituency,” he said. The motives for the by-elections vary.
Aamir Rana said that the TLP has fielded its candidates in almost all the constituencies but it will use the by-elections to prepare for its next general elections.
However, journalist and analyst Sabukh Syed believes that religious parties can play a role in the defeat or victory of major political parties in different constituencies. ۔
‘Religious vote will be divided’
According to Sabukh Syed, the votes of religious parties will be divided in the coming by-elections. This is reflected in the announcements made by various religious parties in support of PTI and Noon League candidates. Sabukh Syed thinks that this will benefit the TLP more. Sabukh Syed said that when the candidate of his own party is not in the fray, the votes of religious parties are united on the basis of sect. The people belonging to the BJP will mostly vote for the TLP and if the TLP manages to get more votes, they will strengthen their position to settle issues in the next general elections. ”Sabukh Syed He said that in this way TLP may influence the election results to some extent in some constituencies but overall they will strengthen their position for the next general elections.