Political parties eye on young voters to achieve victory in 2024 general election
PESHAWAR (APP): Political parties have started eying on young voters to muster their support to achieve landslide victory in 2024 general election and serve them for next five years term.
The leaders of almost all religio-political leaders including mainstream PPP, PMLN, JUIF, PTI and ANP were trying to persuade a large number of young voters in all provinces including Khyber Pakthunkhwa with catchy programs keeping in view of their 45.84 representation to form government in centre and four provinces after winning the General Election.
The Election Commission of Pakistan data has revealed that the total proportion of voters below 35 years of age was 45.84 percent youth that would play a significant role in deciding the fate of political parties in 2024 election announced to be held on February 8 next year.
“The role of young voters in deciding fate of electoral candidates in 2024 election would be crucial and those parties that achieved their support would easily form Govt in centre and KP, Sindh, Punjab and Balcohsitan,” said Professor AH Hilali, former Chairman, Political Science Department, University of Peshawar while talking to APP on Tuesday.
He said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Asfandyar Wali Khan and others were trying to get their support. In recent conventions, he said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced pro- youth and labour projects to achieve support of young voters, farmers and labourers.
He said out of total 121 million voters, 55.57m voters are aged 18 to 35 years, whereas their number was slightly above 46m (43.82pc) in the 2018 general election. Hilali said among these young voters (45.84pc), 31.98 million or 26.38pc are in the age group of 26 to 35 years, while as many as 23.58 million or 19.46pc individuals are aged between 18 and 25 years.
He said 23.58 million young voters comprise 14.86 million male and 8.72 million female voters, many of whom will be first-time voters and were looking towards parties’ manifesto and past service records due to increased literacy rate.
Hilali said a province-wise analysis of these 23.58m young voters magnified that Punjab alone has 13.18 million voters (8.18 million male and over 5 million female); followed by Sindh with 4.71 million voters (over 3 million male, 1.71 million female); Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 4.41 million voters (2.84million male, 1.57million female) and Balochistan with 1.10 million voters (around 737,000 male and 364,000 female).
Likewise, 175,411 voters aged less than 25 years including 98,105 male and 77,306 female voters are in the federal capital.
Dr Hilali said that young voters were the backbone of political parties whose role are the prerequisite of every democratic system.
“The success of political parties in general election largely depend on the political behaviour and psychological- economic factors, past service record and manifestos of political parties rather launching of personal attacks, blame games, characters assassination of political leadership and dragging state institutions into politics,” said Manzoorul Haq, former ambassador while talking to APP.
He said the use of sarcastic, pathetic and wretched remarks against political personalities during election rallies and TV talks damages the political atmosphere and creates hatred among political workers besides creating political polarization and anarchy.
He said that unfortunately principles based politics was deteriorating because of the deep political polarisation and wrangling among political forces for the sake of power.
He said a permanent political divide with no channel of communication and political intolerance retards the political and economic development, besides widening the economic gap between influentials and the underprivileged.
Manzoor said that issues-based political debates help in broadening voters’ understanding and resolution of socioeconomic and political issues besides promoting political harmony.
He said the media and intelligentsia role is very important for education of voters and discouraging hate-based speeches, and dragging state institutions into politics.
He expressed the hope that political leaders and media would strictly follow ECP’s code of conduct and all political parties would be provided level playing field imperative for a free, fair and transparent general election.